An 18-month mystery as to why a Welsh village’s broadband was plagued with issues at the same time every morning has finally been solved.
Villagers living in the Powys village of Aberhosan were left frustrated after they began having poor broadband connectivity and slow speeds every morning at 7am.
Engineers were then left scratching their heads when repeated visits to the village, located near to the market town of Machynlleth, found the network was working perfectly.
Baffled BT workers even replaced a large section of cable that served the village, which is home to around 400 people, in a bid to fix the mystery issue.
After exhausting their options, they were forced to call in the Openreach Chief Engineer team, a crack team described as the company’s ‘SAS’, in a bid to fix the problem.
Now, after a frustrating 18 months for villagers, the ‘culprit’ has finally be revealed – as an old-fashioned TV.
Villagers living in the Powys village of Aberhosan (pictured), Wales, were suddenly struck with poor broadband connectivity and slow speeds every morning at 7am
Engineers discovered the TV set was emitting a burst of electrical interference at 7am each day.
They traced the signal to a property in the village and the ‘mortified’ householder confirmed that they switched on their old television at that time every day – causing the broadband in the village to be affected.
The householder, who has not been identified, immediately agreed to switch off the television and not to use it again.
There have been no further issues reported with the broadband network in Aberhosan since.
Michael Jones, a local engineer for Openreach, said the company’s chief engineering team helped to solve the mystery 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.
Engineers discovered an old-fashioned TV set in a house in the village (pictured) was emitting a burst of electrical interference in at 7am each day – causing the issue
She advised people to ensure their electrical appliances are properly certified and meet British standards.
Aberhosan will be connected to fibre broadband later this year as part of Openreach’s work with the Welsh Government to expand the network in rural Wales.
Meanwhile, residents in the village are determined to track down the owner of the TV to make sure it is thrown out.
One woman, who asked not to be named, said: ‘We don’t know who this person is with the TV but I’m going to find out.
‘We’re not early morning people so we had no idea that the problems were starting at 7am when the telly was being switched on.
‘Openreach say the person has promised not to use the telly any more – I want to make sure it’s been thrown out.’
Her husband added: ‘We’ve had engineers coming to visit all the time and none seemed to know what the problem was.
‘About a year ago one said that there was a strong electrical signal in the village that could be causing the problems but they didn’t know where it came from.
‘Now I suppose they’ve identified this TV.’
Another villager said they were hoping the speed would be improved even more when a new fibre box was finally connected at the village chapel.
Neighbour Sara Williams said she has experienced broadband issues ever since moving into her home.
She said: ‘Just before lockdown it got to the point we couldn’t even use our phones on it.’Nothing would work then the landline would be down.
‘It’s only just the last couple of weeks that is has worked how it should have been when moving in.”
But Sara says she had no idea it was down to an old television – and has no idea of the identity of the neighbour responsible.
She added: ‘I didn’t realise it was anything to do with a TV.’