Broadband News

Old TV wipes out broadband but FTTP on way to Welsh village

Problems with radio interference affecting broadband are nothing new but usually cases do not drag on for 18 months. Residents of Aberhosan which is on the very south eastern edge of the Machynlleth exchange used to see their already slow broadband wiped out at 7am each day.

Openreach eventually traced the problem down to errant RF interference from one residents old TV set which they used to switch on each morning at around 7am. Apparently the device was found after wandering around a wet village at 6am during lockdown and then vectoring in on the source of the noise that appeared at 7am. The interference in this case is referred to as SHINE (Single High-level Impulse Noise) and while the Openreach article does not tell you, the fact that the village already had a marginal ADSL/ADSL2+ signal would not have helped, i.e. at 6 or 7km it does not take much interference to wipe out any usable ADSL signal.

Speed test results suggest that earlier in 2020 speeds of around 1 Mbps down was the best people were seeing, but a test earlier in September has someone recording a massive 2 Mbps download speed. 2 Mbps is not a lot but if it is reasonably reliable it will at least allow people to do some basic online shopping and banking. The good news when we checked for future plans is that upgrades appear to be planned for the village and Openreach is saying FTTP is on the way. We are guessing this is part of the contract in Wales to extend superfast coverage. Map of Aberhosan speed tests from the last 3 months and surrounding area.

For anyone who thinks that they may be suffering interference a battery powered AM radio tuned to around 612 kHz or slightly off that frequency if you are picking up a radio station might help you to spot a big constant interference source. The nature of the AM radio bands is that there will almost always be some noise and DSL is designed to handle this but as the distance increases the number of frequency bins to carry data data decrease rapidly. VDSL2 avoids a lot of the AM interference but does still use some of the lower frequencies but with a set of power masks to avoid interfering with ADSL/ADSL2+ signals on other lines and the shortest lines will use all the way up to 17 MHz.

The roll-out of full fibre is going to remove these issues, but due to the nature of the 2.4 GHz band being used for Wi-Fi and a range of other devices people might still have unexplained outages from a microwave oven cooking lunch or a video sender killing the Wi-Fi signal. Dual band wireless gets around the majority of this by using the 5 GHz band, and while it is also much faster the range is shorter. The reality therefore is that if you have FTTP and want the best experience connect your TV to the broadband router by an Ethernet cable. 

Comments

the BBC report says it had been like that for 18months! why did it take so long to investigate it?

  • ggremlin
  • 29 days ago

Because it is really hard to track interference, they had apparently done all the other usual fixes first. ( Including replacing cable which takes time) But something that starts at 7am means you have to be there before 7am to spot it starting then need a big enough team with the correct specialised equipment to triangulate it down to the specific house. From the sound of it, it could have been in quite a wide range of properties as it affected a large area so anywhere down the cable.

  • jumpmum
  • 29 days ago

How embarrassed is the person with the TV causing all the problems now though!

  • jamesmacwhite
  • 29 days ago

Well wee might have a new plan for getting openreach to add that 1 street to FTTP, weaponised CRTS

  • Hewitt96
  • 29 days ago

more tech details here.. :)
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/09/old-tv-set-interfered-with-villages-dsl-internet-each-day-for-18-months/

  • comnut
  • 28 days ago

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12733774/grandparents-wiped-villages-internet-tv-piers-morgan/amp/ the sun tracked them down. A small bush LCD TV. So not what I would call old, cheap maybe.

  • mnbvcxz
  • 26 days ago

Our office had a computer like that about ten years ago, I'm pretty sure the fault was in the power supply. We'd been experiencing an early morning "drop" for some time but I hadn't realised the problem was from something of ours so it took an engineer to actually locate it.

  • obroad
  • 23 days ago

Piers Morgan said, on interviewing the couple on GMB, he would be sending Andy Peters round with a 65" 4K TV for them this week. I understand he's paying for it. Hopefully it won't be too big for the couples property.

  • majestic100
  • 23 days ago

To my mind the culprit here is BT not the TV owner. A properly designed and maintained network should be able to withstand the level of interference emanating from a small LED TV. Think what it would have been like if a amateur radio operator lived in the village.

  • diacong
  • 23 days ago

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