In a swift reversal, Duke University first accused and then exonerated students’ iPhones. A problem with Duke’s wireless network caused outages at the school, Duke officials said July 20—not Apple’s new iPhone.

The retraction came only hours after Bill Cannon, a university technology spokesman, said an analysis of network traffic found that iPhones had flooded parts of the university’s wireless network with access requests, freezing parts of the system for 10 minutes at a time. This analysis turned out to be faulty, according to Duke’s most recent statement.

“A particular set of conditions made the Duke wireless network experience some minor and temporary disruptions in service,” Duke spokeswoman Tracy Futhey said in a written statement posted on the university’s web site. “Those conditions involve our deployment of a very large Cisco-based wireless network that supports multiple network protocols.”

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Inc. said it worked with Duke and Apple this week to identify the network issue that was causing the problem. Elizabeth McNichols, a Cisco spokeswoman, declined to be more specific, and officials at Duke did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking additional comment.

“Cisco has provided a fix that has been applied to Duke’s network, and the problem has not occurred since,” the company said in a written statement.

The school’s Wi-Fi wireless network had jammed nine times for spans of about 10 minutes, and a review of network traffic led Duke’s technology team to blame iPhone users.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple released the iPhone, its first cell phone, at the end of June. The phones retail for between $499 and $599 and combine cell-phone capabilities with a media player and Wi-Fi access.


Apple Inc.

Duke University

Cisco Systems Inc.