If your internet connection is suffering decreased speeds of late it might be because of a particular Christmas phenomenon.
The build up to Christmas seems to start earlier every year, with many homes, businesses and local councils stringing up gaudy Christmas lights in order to get us in a festive mood. However for those who access the internet over a WiFi connection, it might actually be causing frustrations.
Ofcom offers to help improve WiFi connections across Britain
According to a report from British telecoms watchdog Ofcom, all of those Christmas lights produce electrical interference that could be causing sluggish WiFi connections. Alongside the lights, other culprits include microwave ovens, baby monitors and lamps.
However the latter items are present all year round, whereas Christmas only appear during our ever extending holiday season. Given the fact that the vast majority of our business and social lives are conducted online, a decent internet connection can make a real difference to both professional success and our mental health.
Ofcom now calls fast internet the “fourth essential service” along with gas, electricity and water, but it found that some 6 million of homes and businesses are affected by poor WiFi signal caused by poor setup.
Download the troubleshooting app to combat pesky Christmas lights
In response to the problem the watchdog has launched a new app designed to detect problems with your internet signal. If it detects that improvements could be made, it will make some troubleshooting tips. The app is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The new app is part of a response to the Ofcom Connected Nations 2015 report, which reveals that good progress is being made in providing high-speed internet connections to people across the UK. However the report says that there is plenty of work to be done, especially when it comes to improving availability and quality of service
Ofcom found that those UK users with superfast broadband internet are driving a significant increase in the amount of data downloaded. The figures suggest that faster connections are enabling users to benefit in myriad ways, including the increased use of services such as online film rental and video calls which use up a lot of bandwidth.