Old TV Blamed for Knocking Out Town's Internet

An engineer traced a large burst of electrical interference to a resident’s ancient tube TV.

Just when it seems like we, as a society, can’t get more high-tech, we find ourselves battling the most basic of glitches. And this next story is so hard to believe it just has to be true.

Citizens in a small Welsh village had an odd mystery on their hands. Each morning, around 7 a.m., the entire town would experience problems with their broadband, including super-slow speeds and problems with connectivity.

The broadband provider -- a company called Openreach -- dispatched technicians numerous times, only to find no discernible faults with the network.

The problem persisted, insanely, for 18 months, until one man -- part Openreach engineer, part detective -- determined to find the smoking gun. He helped arrange for a team to conduct some additional tests and, as a last resort, they explored the possibility that a phenomenon called “SHINE” was in play.

SHINE stands for Single High-level Impulse Noise and, according to Openreach, it’s when electrical interference emitted from an appliance has an impact on broadband connectivity. In this case, the group hit the nail on the head, and eventually traced the large burst of electrical interference to an odd source: a resident’s ancient tube TV.

It appeared that when the resident fired up the vintage device each morning, it knocked out the broadband in the entire village.

Openreach says this isn’t as rare as people think.

For those of you who have been hanging out with us for a while, we covered a similarly weird story in May of last year, when an inventor in Ohio unwittingly crashed a frequency when he built a homemade security system. The result was also strange-but-true: the town’s residents’ garage door openers and vehicle key fobs stopped working.

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