I don't know if this is a related problem but I throw it out there in case it is.
When I first boot up and since I have had the connection problem, Firefox runs and runs and runs. You can hear it working overtime for some reason. When I close it and launch it again it won't start. It says Firefox already running and not responding.
If I do a ctrl-esc and end it , I am fine after that. I can close it and open it with no problem.
I mention this because it happened around the same time as the network center problem.