Fairy lights on the naughty list

The Christmas decorations have gone up at our Winchester HQ ready for the festive season, dragging a tree in a slightly muddy pot indoors and festooning it with colourful lights and baubles. But could our newest addition to the office slow down our precious Wi-Fi…?

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, has warned that Christmas lights could cause interference within home networks if they are not set up correctly. The story was released to publicise the release of their new Wi-Fi checker app, but the advice should not be written off by cynical scrooges as PR waffle, as Wi-Fi interference is something that the majority of the public are not aware.

Here at Sprechen and our sister company Cross Connections, we are well versed in the ordinary household items that can interrupt the proper function of a wireless router and slow internet speeds – microwaves, baby monitors and Bluetooth devices are all on the ‘naughty list’, but fairy lights..? Well, any electronic device which emits radio waves can affect Wi-Fi transmission so we would advise a quick check of the area around your router to see if there is a way you can rearrange electronic devices or remove them completely. Many people have their home router plugged into a corner of their living room, so perhaps check that the fairy lights have not gone into the same corner!

Given that broadband and mobile services are now seen as ‘essential’ to our wellbeing alongside gas water and electricity, and perhaps to keep the peace in a busy family household or office over Christmas, this is time well spent.

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