Old TV disrupted entire village's internet connection for 18 months

The television disrupted internet connections for the village when it was turned on every morning

Adam Smith
Tuesday 22 September 2020 14:41 BST
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An old television in a village in Wales left residents with broadband issues for 18 months.

Engineers found that electrical interference emitting from the machine were causing slow internet speeds in Aberhosan, Powys every morning.

The village has a significantly low population density, with only around 132,000 people in an area of approximately 5,200 square kilometres.

The owner of the television was unaware that is was causing the issue, but was apparently “mortified” when told about it by Openreach.

“As a team we’d been facing an ongoing issue in Aberhosan for months” said engineer Michael Jones.

“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”.

Engineers initially believed that the connection problems were caused by old cables, which were replaced but the issue persisted.

“Having exhausted all other avenues we wanted to do one final test to see if the fault was being caused by a phenomenon known as SHINE (Single High-level Impulse Noise) where electrical interference is omitted from an appliance that can then have an impact on broadband connectivity”, Jones said.

It was then that the old television was discovered, emitting the noise. SHINE usually occurs when a device is turning on or turning off, when it causes a burst of interference.

“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”, Jones said.

Future internet connections will use fibreoptic connections, which send signals using lasers, as opposed to electrical signals over wires.

This means that they will not be subject to electrical interference and avoid these issues.

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