In the end, Openreach brought in a crack team from its chief engineer’s office to investigate. Working against the COVID-19 restrictions, the team set up a spectrum analyzer early in the morning, to capture any evidence of what was causing the problem. At the appointed time, they saw a radio frequency interference spot appear, a pulse of high intensity noise at just the right frequency to interfere with asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) broadband service. from the village.
A little research led to a villager’s house and a used television, which was on every day at 7:00 a.m. The TV was found to emit a strong RF pulse when turned on, strong enough to turn off ADSL service throughout the village. Openreach categorized this as SHINE or high level single impulse noise. We had never heard of it, but apparently it’s pretty common for BT to warn customers and provide helpful instructions for locating sources with an AM radio.
We will say one thing for the good people of Aberhosan: They have to be patient to the extreme to endure daily internet outages for 18 months. And it’s funny how the owner of the offending TV apparently wasn’t notified that his constant habit caused the outage. Maybe they don’t have a broadband connection, so they wouldn’t have noticed the borking.
Either way, the owner was said to have been “mortified” by the news and has not turned on the television since learning of the problem. This usually seems to be the reaction when someone is inadvertently caught spoiling the specter – remember the great mystery of the Ohio keychain?
Thanks to [Kieran Donnelly] for spotting it for us.