Pensioner wiped out village's broadband for 18 months by turning on old TV

A pensioner turning on his old television each morning left 400 villagers with poor broadband for 18 months.

Openreach engineers made repeated visits to the rural Welsh village of Aberhosan due to ongoing connectivity issues and slow speeds from 7am every day.

Tests showed the network was working fine and the engineers even replaced large sections of cable that served the village.

But the early morning wipeout kept happening.

The root of the problem was only found when investigators traced a burst of electrical interference to a property in the village.

The ‘mortified’ householder confirmed they switched on their old television at that time every day, sending the village’s broadband haywire.

Openreach engineer Michael Jones said the mystery was solved by using a spectrum analyser to look for a phenomenon known as Shine (single high-level impulse noise).

‘We walked up and down the village in the torrential rain at 6am to see if we could find an ‘electrical noise’ to support our theory,’ Mr Jones said.

‘And at 7am, like clockwork, it happened. Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village.

‘The source of the “electrical noise” was traced to a property in the village.

‘It turned out that at 7am every morning the occupant would switch on their old TV which would in turn knock out broadband for the entire 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 it again.’

Suzanne Rutherford of Openreach said such issues are not as rare as people may think.

‘Anything with electric components – from outdoor lights to microwaves to CCTV cameras – can potentially have an impact on your broadband connection,’ she said.

She advised people to ensure their electrical appliances are properly certified and meet British standards.

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