Speculation surrounds NYU’s network difficulties, Apple’s iOS 7 launch

via flickr.com
via flickr.com

On Sept. 18, NYU ITS sent out an email blast telling the university community that there were intermittent wireless authentication problems that IT was working to resolve.

Apple’s iOS 7 software update to its mobile devices was released worldwide on Sept. 18.

As of press time, ITS has posted six status updates stating that NYURoam Wireless Service is still having interruptions to the network in addition to continued slowness.

Shortly before the email was sent, at 1 p.m. the same day, Apple released its iOS 7 software update to its mobile device line

Deputy Chief Information Technology Officer of NYU ITS Kitty Bridges said in an email that the problems with the network began before the release of iOS 7 and the volume of download activity was not a factor. The ITS help center was unable to confirm the cause of the network problems but said that the problems had been lasting for about a week.

“The NYU-NET wireless network is still having intermittent login issues,” Bridges wrote. “They appear to be isolated to particular buildings at particular times. The vendor of the wireless equipment and NYU staff are investigating this as a high priority.”

However, a Sept. 18 Business Insider article reported that NYU, Ohio University and Western Connecticut State University all had students tweeting about connectivity issues.  According to the article, Ohio University was the only school of the three to directly address the network problems by sending a campus-wide email asking students to wait to download iOS 7. Ohio University did not explicitly say whether the school’s connection issues were related to the software update.

“The iOS 7 upgrade is around 752 megabytes,” former member of [email protected]’s executive board and 2013 graduate Steve Kaliski said. “There are a variety of reasons a network can ‘go down,’ most typically due to overload from a large number of active clients. A university network would likely keep this in mind as they design their network infrastructure. However, a large number of clients all downloading a large file at the same time is out of the norm and likely not supported by that network.”

Social media exploded with reactions to the release. Topsy, a social media analytics service, calculated that Twitter amassed over 3.3 million tweets concerning the operating system over a 24-hour period from 9 a.m. EDT, Sept. 18, to 9 a.m., Sept. 19.

“People downloaded [iOS 7] right away so that they could be the first people to tweet about it and be able to talk about it to everyone in class or at work the next day,” LSP sophomore Ava Baksh said. “People like to be able to give the impression that they are on the cutting edge or that they are on top of what everyone’s talking about, especially at NYU.”

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 24 print edition. Patrick Anker is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]



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