updated 03:20 pm EDT, Mon April 12, 2010
iPhone OS to blame?
Princeton University has issued a warning to students, asking them not to connect iPads to the school's Wi-Fi network. "These devices are continuing to use an IP address they have been leased well beyond the time they should," according to a note from Princeton's IT department. "This behavior causes a disruption on the campus network." The memo adds that should IT staff judge a particular iPad to be causing problems, it may be blocked from Princeton's Wi-Fi entirely.
The issue is said to affect "the majority" of iPads, and possibly involve a bug in the iPhone 3.2 firmware. Princeton notes that it has submitted a report to Apple, and that it may end the warning if and when Apple delivers a fix. It is not clear if iPad hardware or software is genuinely to blame; while people have complained of weak and/or inconsistent Wi-Fi connections, it has generally been assumed that an iPad cannot cause trouble with other devices.
Apple has been falsely blamed for university connection woes in the past. In 2007, Duke University claimed that iPhone Wi-Fi roaming was flooding its network. Thanks to help from Apple and Cisco, however, it was determined that the problem could actually be traced back to Cisco networking technology.