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Apparently, an old TV in the UK was causing internet outages for an entire village

This cautionary tale shows just how fragile our internet infrastructure is.

old crt tv on table disrupting internet
Image: Unsplash

Okay, it’s time to hop over the pond to the UK, where a confusing daily internet outage in the village of Aberhosan, Powys (in Wales) has finally been resolved. The culprit? An old, faulty TV set, that interfered with the whole village’s broadband signal when turned on.

Yes, a TV set. No, it’s not haunted. Probably. I mean, I wouldn’t take the chance, and probably that TV needs a bit of holy water sprinkling on it before burning it, but maybe that’s just me. It took eighteen months of engineers investigating the internet outages to finally come to the conclusion that the errant set was the issue, after using a monitoring device that led them to the TV.

The dedicated engineers walked around the village with spectrum analyzers, to pinpoint where any electrical interference was coming from. The issue was further compounded by the fact the outage only happened at 7am every day, which only gave engineers a short window to find the source.

The spectrum analyzer finally picked up what’s known as a single high-level impulse noise (SHINE), which creates huge amounts of electrical interference every time it happens. I guess this is the real cost of buying second-hand electronics? Anyway, the TV’s owner was apparently mortified to find out they were the cause of the village’s internet woes, and has resolved to never turn that TV back on again.

What do you think? Surprised that an old TV set could cause internet issues for an entire village? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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