Electrical Interference can affect your Broadband Connection

Published 13/04/2005 13:17   |    Updated 25/03/2009 16:03

Can household electrical equipment really affect the speed of my broadband connection?

Yes, find out why below!


TVs are just one of the innocent-looking culprits that could have a catastrophic effect on your broadband connection. Satellite set-top boxes, microwave ovens and even Christmas lights can put the brakes on the speed of your broadband connection.

It’s generally caused by the power supply – a capacitor that’s gone a bit leaky and started to emit more electrical noise than it used to. A slightly faulty power supply in a television or set-top box can degrade the performance of your line. The greater the number of telephone extension sockets / the more electrical equipment in a home, the greater the problem of interference from electrical noise can be.

This electrical interference can severely hamper the speed of your ADSL connection. In a broadband fault investigation an ADSL connection running at 3.8Mb/s was found to be reduced to only 700Kb/s when a nearby fluorescent lamp with a faulty power supply was switched on. One other BT customer even had his ADSL connection keel over each time he opened his fridge door – possibly caused by a faulty light.

So how can you tell if your home electronics are playing havoc with your bandwidth? It isn't always easy, mainly because the device with the leaky power supply will probably still be functioning perfectly normally. It’s often a case of trial and error: switching equipment on and off, one by one, until you find the one that’s doing the damage to your connection.

One handy tip is to tune an AM radio to 627KHz and listen for crackling when you turn the device on, as this is a sure sign of excessive electrical interference.



Please tell us how we can make this answer more useful.