Piers Morgan ruins the internet for an entire village for months

A mysterious old TV interrupts broadband for a whole village!

an elderly couple in nature

Thursday, 24 September, 2020

“Not again!”

It’s 6.45am. You open your eyes. You unlock your phone. You begin the day’s endless scroll, until you hear the collective groan of 400 people echoing through the village.

For the last 18 months this is how many residents of a remote Welsh village began their day. At 7am every day, without fail, the entire village’s broadband signal would cut out. And no one could work out why.

Aberhosan has a population of 400, so word spread quickly, with locals realising they were all having the same issue.

Residents of Aberhosan were baffled, and to their surprise so were engineers! After months of confusion Openreach sent engineers from around the country to try and diagnose the issue.

Engineers spent months testing every individual connection, replacing cables and running diagnostics. But they still couldn’t find the source of the broadband signal interruption.

Fault line

The cause of the interruption was a surprise to everyone, not least the people causing it! Well, sort of. The real culprit was an old 16” model of Bush TV owned by Alun and Elaine Rees.

The £30 TV set, which sits in their bedroom, was turned on every morning at 7am for Good Morning Britain. Mrs Rees told the Daily Mail: ‘I love watching Piers Morgan in the mornings’.

It’s often said that Piers Morgan ruins mornings, but this is taking it a step further.

We wanted to do one final test to see if the fault was being caused by a phenomenon known as Shine (Single High-level Impulse Noise) where electrical interference is emitted from an appliance that can then have an impact on broadband connectivity.

“We walked up and down the village in the torrential rain at 6am to see if we could find an electrical noise to support our theory. And at 7am, like clockwork, it happened. Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference.”

As you can imagine when we pointed this out to the resident, they were mortified that their old secondhand TV was the cause of an entire village’s broadband problems, and they immediately agreed to switch it off and not use it again.

- Openreach engineer, Michael Jones.

Shiny unhappy people

The problem TV was identified when the engineers were testing for a phenomenon called SHINE or Single High-level Impulse Noise. This is when an appliance emits an electrical interference which can affect broadband connectivity.

While it isn’t common, SHINE can be caused by everyday items like TV’s, microwaves and even lighting. Openreach’s advice to avoid the issue is to ensure that all appliances are up to current British standards and are certified.

Trash TV

One neighbour told the BBC that there had been 40 engineer visits to his house while the issue lasted. So residents of Aberhosan said they wanted to be sure that their neighbour had thrown away the old TV.

Let’s hope they all chipped in for a new TV for Mr and Mrs Rees!

Natalie Dunning author picture


Natalie Dunning is a freelance writer and Media Psychology researcher based in Manchester.