An old TV knocked out an entire village's broadband for 18 months

midian182

Posts: 6,160   +51
Staff member
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 Openreach’s network is still on the outdated ADSL Broadband standard, though it does plan to deploy fiber later this year.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.”

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,580   +6,087
You would think that at least they might provide that poor fellow with a more modern TV in exchange for the old one .... after all, he wasn't legally bound to not use his TV if it was legally purchased .... in fact a good lawyer could make the case that the internet provider had failed to design a product that would be protected from such interference ....
 

mgwerner

Posts: 90   +74
You would think that at least they might provide that poor fellow with a more modern TV in exchange for the old one .... after all, he wasn't legally bound to not use his TV if it was legally purchased .... in fact a good lawyer could make the case that the internet provider had failed to design a product that would be protected from such interference ....
In the UK, you have to have a license for a TV set. They used to have a van that drove around detecting sets at addresses that had not paid the tax. So, he may have not paid tax on his old TV, or they may have revoked his license. If so, he IS obligated not to use his TV set. Ever.
 
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gerjy5w

Posts: 35   +43
I don't have to deal with this problem because my internet never works. The router always randomly commits die. Thanks, Comcast!
 

Endymio

Posts: 983   +829
This is what's known as "passing the buck". If any electrical device in one home is knocking out DSL service for an entire community, it's a symptom the broadband provider isn't properly filtering their own equipment. This isn't a WiFi connection, after all.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 245   +232
You would think that at least they might provide that poor fellow with a more modern TV in exchange for the old one .... after all, he wasn't legally bound to not use his TV if it was legally purchased .... in fact a good lawyer could make the case that the internet provider had failed to design a product that would be protected from such interference ....
United Kingdom not US so laws may be different, here in the US we have an FCC certification that devices are tested to not cause interference.
 

Comanche

Posts: 56   +50
You would think that at least they might provide that poor fellow with a more modern TV in exchange for the old one .... after all, he wasn't legally bound to not use his TV if it was legally purchased .... in fact a good lawyer could make the case that the internet provider had failed to design a product that would be protected from such interference ....
well, probably because is the UK, is not like here that for everything you become a victim and the next day you get a $ 500k check to restore your life, after that tragic lose of your favorite coffee mug
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,561   +1,837
LOL, if it was an old tube type tv, I can understand why. I worked on those that were still around in the 70's. The flyback transformer alone, which powered those HUGE vacuum picture tubes, pumped out x-rays (why they were contained/shielded in a metal cage), and a TON of RF!
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,561   +1,837
In the UK, you have to have a license for a TV set. They used to have a van that drove around detecting sets at addresses that had not paid the tax. So, he may have not paid tax on his old TV, or they may have revoked his license. If so, he IS obligated not to use his TV set. Ever.
Sad you have to have a flipping LICENSE, just to watch tv.
 
In the UK, you have to have a license for a TV set. They used to have a van that drove around detecting sets at addresses that had not paid the tax. So, he may have not paid tax on his old TV, or they may have revoked his license. If so, he IS obligated not to use his TV set. Ever.
That's not entirely accurate. You need a licence to watch TV as it's being broadcast and to use the BBC iPlayer catch up service, but you don't need a licence to own a TV or to use it any purpose other than those I've just mentioned. It's still not particularly good value though.
 

Alfatawi Mendel

Posts: 79   +136
In the UK, you have to have a license for a TV set. They used to have a van that drove around detecting sets at addresses that had not paid the tax. So, he may have not paid tax on his old TV, or they may have revoked his license. If so, he IS obligated not to use his TV set. Ever.
How do you know they didn't have a TV license?
If you have a TV license, you are legally entitled to watch TV on ANY TV. New, old, colour, or black-and-white.
As for the detector vans...Well, the BBC admitted they couldn't detect a plook on the end of your nose.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,074   +1,231
You would think that at least they might provide that poor fellow with a more modern TV in exchange for the old one .... after all, he wasn't legally bound to not use his TV if it was legally purchased .... in fact a good lawyer could make the case that the internet provider had failed to design a product that would be protected from such interference ....
Lmao!
No. Just no.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,074   +1,231
How do you know they didn't have a TV license?
If you have a TV license, you are legally entitled to watch TV on ANY TV. New, old, colour, or black-and-white.
As for the detector vans...Well, the BBC admitted they couldn't detect a plook on the end of your nose.
Who cares? Guessing is more fun than research!
 
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Farkinell

Posts: 53   +53
How do you know they didn't have a TV license?
If you have a TV license, you are legally entitled to watch TV on ANY TV. New, old, colour, or black-and-white.
As for the detector vans...Well, the BBC admitted they couldn't detect a plook on the end of your nose.
Weren’t those detector vans a massive hoax, a scare story to get people to pay for the licence?
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,455   +1,963
TechSpot Elite
You would think that at least they might provide that poor fellow with a more modern TV in exchange for the old one .... after all, he wasn't legally bound to not use his TV if it was legally purchased .... in fact a good lawyer could make the case that the internet provider had failed to design a product that would be protected from such interference ....
From what I know about the UK, they are not lawyer happy like we are in the US. Thus, please mind the gap. ;)
 

Farkinell

Posts: 53   +53
From what I know about the UK, they are not lawyer happy like we are in the US. Thus, please mind the gap. ;)
Indeed, although we still get the ambulance-chasing type.

Back on topic though as the TV was clearly VERY old it would have been designed before interference regulations were brought in, the guy would have no right to a new TV. If I have a really old car I’m not automatically entitled to a modern one if it fails it’s emissions test.
 

Aus spot

Posts: 98   +75
If I have a really old car I’m not automatically entitled to a modern one if it fails it’s emissions test.
If you have an old car thst was made before emmissions requirements, you can't fail a test fir simething that was not a requirement when purchased.

Well over here anyway. California might have funny ideas.
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,889   +1,784
Openreach’s network is still on the outdated ADSL Broadband standard, though it does plan to deploy fiber later this year.
BT have probably been saying this for years and their version of "Fiber Broadband" is actually VDSL...