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Resident Accidentally Obstructs Village's Internet for 18 Months

'Mortified' homeowner won't be using that old TV set again
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2020 9:49 AM CDT
Updated Sep 26, 2020 7:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Every morning for 18 months, an entire Welsh village would lose its broadband internet connection, or else see speeds slow to a crawl. The problem persisted even after large sections of cable were replaced, infuriating residents of Aberhosan, Powys, per the North Wales Daily Post. Hopefully they're able to laugh it off now that engineers have finally found the source of the trouble: an old secondhand television. Every morning at 7am, an unsuspecting homeowner would turn on their TV. Unbeknownst to the homeowner and neighbors, the set emitted electrical interference—specifically, single high-level impulse noise—which would "knock out broadband for the entire village," engineer Michael Jones says, per the BBC.

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Telecommunications company Openreach uncovered the problem only after bringing in engineers from across the UK to investigate. "Not being able to solve the fault for our customers left us feeling frustrated and downbeat, but we were determined to get to the bottom [of] it," Jones says, per the Daily Post. Engineers walked around the village with a spectrum analyzer, used to detect electrical noise. "At 7am, like clockwork ... our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference," says Jones. "It turned out that at 7am every morning the occupant would switch on their old TV." The "mortified" owner "immediately agreed" to turn off the TV and never use it again, Jones adds. The connectivity issues are now resolved. (Read more Wales stories.)

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