Christmas lights might affect broadband speed

Christmas lights

The watchdog Ofcom has warned that Christmas lights and other electronic devices could slow down your Wi-Fi, as it releases a free Wi-Fi Checker app to help you identify issues with your home broadband.

It works by checking the wireless signals to find out if the data flow from the routers to tablets and smartphones is interrupted at all. It also provides advice on what you can do to improve your broadband speed.

Some electronic devices, such as Christmas lights, can emit radio waves, which can interfere with Wi-Fi transmissions. Therefore, it is advised to keep routers away from electronic devices.

The app comes at the same time as information from Ofcom regarding research into broadband around the UK, which reports that “good progress” has been made.

Approximately 27 per cent of homes in the UK have broadband speeds of more than 30 Megabytes per second (Mbps), classed as ‘superfast’ broadband, up from 21 per cent last year.

But, rural areas are still lagging behind, with less than 40 per cent of homes in rural areas having that higher broadband speed. This is because many of these houses are “further from the network’s local street cabinet or local telephone exchange,” according to Ofcom.

Small businesses are also said to be suffering particularly with slow broadband, with only about 50 per cent able to get speeds of more than 10Mbps. Even by 2017, reports indicate that approximately 20 per cent will still be unable to get the superfast broadband.

500,000 homes are able to use ‘ultrafast’ broadband, of more than 300Mbps.