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Broadband service interferences

Radio frequencies and electrical signals can sometimes influence or cause interference to broadband services provided by phone lines, leading them to run more slowly or even drop out sporadically.

Sources of interference

There can be many causes for inconsistent broadband connections, such as radio interference from motorised machines or electrical devices inside your home. Your broadband service is more likely to be affected if one or more of these interferences is located within close proximity to your router and telephone cables.

Devices which may be the sources of your interference include televisions, particularly Plasma and LCD types and power supplies for laptops or mobile telephones. Lighting can cause an issue as well, especially ‘dimmer’ switches and LED bulbs and even Christmas lights. However, potentially any electrical devices can cause a problem for your broadband service, particularly if you rely on an ADSL broadband connection.

Learn more about ADSL broadband in our dedicated guide.

Detecting the main interferences

A great way to detect the primary electrical interferences is by using a battery powered AM radio. Tuning it to the frequency of approximately 600KHz can help you detect noise from electrical devices, signalling a possible broadband service disruption.

Normally, noise from an electronic device will have a pattern to it, RF noise, but white noise is a non-specific ADSL broadband interference. Isolating the source can be done by turning off appliances in the vicinity one by one, or potentially turning off a mains circuit on a different floor if there are too many interferences to pick just one out.

How to decrease interference

First of all, ensure your broadband router is wired correctly as sometimes wires can become loose or get knocked out of place. Stacking broadband routers and mobile telephone signal boosters near to one another can often cause issues, so moving them apart can have a positive impact.

Crossing telephone or broadband wires with mains power wires can also cause interference. Avoid this kind of interruption by either separating the wires, or if this is not possible, run the wires perpendicular to one another as opposed to side by side, to reduce the amount of contact.

Also, connecting your router to the telephone line at the master socket, as opposed to any sister outlet can reduce interference. Moreover, using microfilters/splitters at the socket can help reduce noise when making phone calls and potentially improve your broadband connection.

CE (Conformité Européenne) marked devices emit reduced levels radio interference, but do not rule it out completely.

After distinguishing a main cause of interference, move the responsible appliance as far away as possible from your ADSL broadband router, and your broadband speeds will potentially increase significantly. Ensure to take a broadband speed test before and after you have made your changes to measure and monitor the differences your adjustments are making to your broadband service.

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