It’s 6:59 a.m. in the peaceful village of Aberhosan, Wales. The early-risers are slowly starting their days with checking the news and streaming music… until at 7 a.m. the Internet suddenly shuts off and puts an end to their harmonious morning routine. Every single morning for a total of 18 months. 

For 18 months, the residents of Aberhosan and various teams of engineers and network technicians were not able to solve the mystery of why the Internet connection of the entire village was cut off every single morning. Cable replacements and network tests didn’t resolve the outages either, leaving the residents and everyone else dumbfounded and confused. 

Finding the Source of the Problem

In the end, it took a team of engineers equipped with a spectrum analyzer to find the cause of the problem. Walking up and down the streets of Aberhosan early in the morning, at precisely 7 a.m. the spectrum analyser suddenly detected a large amount of “electrical noise” that crashed the village’s broadband. Further investigation led them to a specific household in the village where they discovered that the resident’s old second-hand television would emit a single high-level impulse noise (SHINE) every morning when she would switch it on at 7 a.m. 

The single pulse was powerful enough to shut down the broadband connectivity of the entire village. Once she stopped using the old TV, the Internet problems were gone and the people of Aberhosan resumed their morning rituals unimpeded. 

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that it is not unusual for electric appliances to interfere with broadband connectivity. Anything from CCTV cameras, radios, to microwaves can emit electromagnetic waves and impede on the #ConnectedHome experience—although they don’t usually crash the broadband of an entire village

 

How Veego Could Have Saved the Day—18 Months Sooner 

The Veego Agent has the unique capability to monitor the broadband connectivity along the entire Home Internet Service Delivery Chain (HISDC)within and beyond the home. This includes the server, the WAN, the Internet router, the home network, all of the connected devices, and even the user. 

If the residents of Aberhosan had the Veego Agent running on their home routers, the device interference could have been identified in a fraction of the time, maybe even in just a few hours. Veego would have been able to determine quickly that the problem didn’t originate from the server, the Internet or the router, and that something else was interfering with the connection between the home router and the end-devices. This information would have dramatically reduced the number of potential root-causes and would have avoided the expensive cable replacements, saving the ISP thousands of dollars. 

Read why knowing and understanding context matters in connected home problem remediation

The Power of Data in Identifying and Fixing Aberhosan’s Broadband Issues

Veego’s data analysis capabilities could have identified potential patterns in all of Aberhosan’s households impacted by the 7 a.m. outage. With the Veego dashboard, the ISP technical team could have easily sliced and diced the gigabytes of Internet consumption data collected by the Veego agent, such as the types of connected devices and consumed services, and quickly understood that the outage impacted all the end-devices in the village. 

If only the devices of a specific brand and make (for example the smart speakers by Sonos) had stopped working, the problem was likely to lie with the speakers. But if all smart devices stopped working, then this would indicate general Internet interference of unknown cause and reveal the need to use a spectrum analyser. 

While Veego could not have detected the second-hand TV that caused the problem, it could have saved the people of Aberhosan many months of nternet problems, prevented the headaches of the network engineers, and stopped the ISP from wasting thousands of dollars. Everybody wins and 18 months could have easily been reduced to a couple of days. 

Aberhosan and The Future of Home Internet

Today the average household is equipped with 25 connected devices, with researchers predicting that this number will continue to rise over the next few years. The growing number of devices, the variety of communication protocols used, and the growing complexity of the connected home make device interference a fairly common phenomenon. Maybe not to the extreme of Aberhosan, but surely on a smaller scale within the same household, or neighboring homes. 

Internet performance data and analytics, like the information provided by Veego, are becoming indispensable for end users, Internet and communication service providers, device and app vendors, and online service providers for streaming and gaming. This data removes the blindfold from customer service teams and gives them insight into their subscribers’ Internet quality of experience, the performance of a specific device or service within the context of the entire connected home, and reveals the general satisfaction of their subscribers. 

Ultimately this is the data that wins new customers and keeps them loyal.