Six Million Homes could be Suffering from Slow Broadband Speeds

Telecoms regulator, Ofcom has said that six million homes could be suffering from slow broadband speeds as a result of putting up Christmas lights, placing Wi-Fi hubs close to microwaves, or near lamps or by installing baby alarms. Professor Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) have the following comments on it.

[su_note note_color=”#ffffcc” text_color=”#00000″]Professor Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology :

“It’s true that any form of domestic interference, including Christmas fairy lights and the growing number of other wireless devices we have in our homes, can slow down your Wi-Fi. But users should not worry unduly! For the vast majority of users the speed of their internet will be constrained by the link from their house to the exchange, rather than by their local Wi-Fi – so interference from fairy lights and other wireless devices is unlikely to be an issue. The new Ofcom app works well and will show people that their local Wi-Fi is not the issue.

“In any case, Wi-Fi systems are getting quite smart and should adapt automatically to cope with things like other Wi-Fi networks and with most other interference, including from fairy lights. Many systems also have access to the higher-frequency Wi-Fi bands, which helps.

“The problem arises for people with very old Wi-Fi base stations who might need to upgrade or extend their networks, as might people who use high speed Wi-Fi for things like streaming satellite TV.

“Some local rural broadband operators are starting to use outside Wi-Fi instead of old copper wires to distribute from village access points to local homes. This makes the issues with interference to broadband by things like Christmas lights much less of an issue.”[/su_note]

[su_box title=”About Professor Will Stewart” style=”noise” box_color=”#0e0d0d”]Professor Will StewartProfessor Will Stewart was previously the Chief Scientist at Marconi with wide interests in technologies from communications to bio sensing, he was educated at Imperial College (Physics). His personal interests have been in optical fibre communications and optoelectronics. Recent interests include microstructured photonic materials (photonic crystals), optical slow-wave structures, nanomechanical systems and the application of various optical, semiconductor and acoustic technologies to medicine, particle physics and industrial processes.

He is a visiting Professor at University College London and at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at Southampton. He is author on some 64 conference and journal papers, including many invited papers, and on 48 patents. He is a member of the editorial advisory board for the journal Science.

Will has been a member of the IET for many years. He has been a member of the Knowledge Management Board and Council and has chaired the Communications Policy Panel and also the panel that invites key speakers from industry and government to give IET prestige lectures.[/su_box]

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