Firmware Induced WiFi access point Failure

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A friend’s daughter got the following notice from the information services department at the university she attends. WiFi access points in her dormitory were not functioning due to power loss. The electrical outage was actually caused by a bug in the firmware driver of the network switches.

One of the IS technicians was able to procure an upgrade to the firmware which resolved the issue. Friend’s daughter said the WiFi had dropped multiple times in the last 6 months with long periods of no connectivity. Sounds like the IS department was slacking a little to me. I know our hospital IS department has high turnover and low employee morale which creates a dysfunctional workplace environment with weak to nonexistent training guidelines.

It has come to my attention that the network switches which run the student wireless in the dorms have a firmware version that has a known problem/bug. The issue is that it stops providing power to the ports. The Access points,obviously, need power to operate. Thank God there is a firmware upgrade that will fix this. In order to do the firmware upgrade, we need to reboot the student switches. I’ll be rebooting them this morning. They should only be down for only a few minutes per switch. The IS department apologizes to faculty, staff, and students for this major inconvenience. Take care and God Bless America!

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