Your Christmas Tree Lights Might Be Slowing Your Wi-Fi

By Gerald Lynch on at

It sounds like a headline to file next to "Carrots Cause Cancer" or some other such rubbish, were it not from the UK's respectable regulator and watchdog Ofcom: apparently, your Christmas tree lights can have a negative effect on your Wi-Fi speeds.

That was just one finding from the latest Ofcom report which states that as many as six million homes and offices could boost their broadband speeds by making sure items which interfere with performance weren't nearby.

As well as fairy lights, more common sources of signal interference are baby monitors and microwave ovens. The regulator has also released a Wi-Fi Checker app to help you spot what may be dragging down your connection.

Ofcom's report also looked into average speeds across the UK. While it noted an impressive rise in the number of homes running "superfast" connections of 30MB per second (hitting 7.5 million households, up from six million last year), it also found that eight percent of households (around 2.4 million) still couldn't hit a basic average of 10MB per second. Similarly, superfast connections were only available to two-in-five rural properties.

As for those connections christened "ultrafast", there are 500,000 homes in the UK now cruising with broadband speeds of above 300MB per second. Lucky bastards. [Ofcom]

Image Credit: Flickr