WTF?! Being unable to connect to the internet and experiencing slowdowns is frustrating enough, but imagine it happening every day, at exactly 7 am, for 18 months. That’s what residents of a small village in Wales experienced before the unlikely cause was discovered: an old television set.
Openreach, the UK-based broadband provider, writes that inhabitants of Aberhosan had endured connection and speed problems with their internet despite repeated visits from engineers. Tests showed the network was working fine, and large sections of the cabling were replaced, but the issues persisted.
Openreach engineer Michael Jones said that “as a final resort, we decided to bring in a crack squad of engineers from the Chief Engineers Office who were based in other parts of the UK to investigate.”
Having exhausted all other possibilities, the team walked through the village at 6 am using a spectrum analyzer looking for any electrical noise that could be the cause. “And at 7 am, like clockwork, it happened! Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village,” Jones said.
The signal was traced to a property with an old TV that was producing SHINE (Single High-level Impulse Noise) interference. The owner would switch it on every morning at 7 am, borking the broadband for every resident in the village.
“As you can imagine, when we pointed this out to the resident, they were mortified that their old second-hand TV was the cause of an entire village’s broadband problems, and they immediately agreed to switch it off and not use again.”
As noted by Gizmodo, SHINE, which occurs when turning a device off and on, can result in DSL circuits failing and losing sync. Openreach’s network is still on the outdated ADSL Broadband standard, though it does plan to deploy fiber later this year.
Openreach Chief Engineer’s Lead for Wales, Suzanne Rutherford, said: “Anything with electric components – from outdoor lights to microwaves to CCTV cameras can potentially have an impact on your broadband connection. We’d just advise the public to make sure that their electric appliances are properly certified and meet current British Standards and if you have a fault, report it to your service provider in the first instance so that we can investigate.”