Before the die-hard Apple fans get their wireless devices in a tizzy, hear them out. The universities actually make a somewhat fair point. While some universities are embracing the newest Apple gadget with free iPads for students, other schools say they are not welcome.
Princeton and George Washington University announced that they are banning the iPad from their campuses. Princeton and GWU cite security risks. A third university, Cornell, voices concern that students will monopolize the bandwidth available on the university’s network and is looking in to the issue.
Hmm, what about the laptops they are already using? It seems that the iPad is not compatible with security features on Cornell’s and GWU’s networks, and it’s not an issue they face with standard laptops which run operating systems like Windows or OS X.
For now, the iPad is considered campus contraband. The schools say they are working on the issue and trying to make the iPad compatible with their networks in time for the fall semester.
Scott Merrill, of the Ohio State University IT department, told CrunchGear.com “People have to understand that the IT departments in many of these schools are run on shoe-string budgets (or close to it). They buy equipment—Wi-Fi access points and the like—with a certain number of computers and devices in mind, and then Apple (or any other company for that matter) releases a terribly popular product. All of a sudden, students have multiple Wi-Fi devices on their person at all times, and it’s simply too much for the network to handle.”
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Update: Correction made about Cornell’s position on 4/21/10.