Monday, 31 August 2009

Finding The Source of Interference

I've spent ages trying to find some useful and practical advice on ways to track down the source of broadband interference and it has been remarkably hard to find anything useful. Finally, I've managed to track something down which, although highly technical, does at least suggest some possible approaches. It also gives some good examples of the types of devices that can cause problems and how they do it.

The paper, entitled "Interference to Amateur Radio Reception," was produced by the Radio Society of Great Britain. Although it is intended for radio amateurs, it appears to apply equally to broadband reception.

In rural areas, electric fences may be a very specific source of broadband problems, particularly where they run close to, and parallel with, the telephone cables. If there are no long runs of parallel fencing, then well-maintained fences shouldn't normally cause too much of a problem. However, fences that are broken and shorted to earth, or ones which have green vegetation touching the wire or tape conductor, can put a large unwanted signal into the telephone lines, especially in wet weather. Buried telephone cables are particularly susceptible to this form of interference.

Typically, there is little information on this source of interference available in the UK from BT, who seem fixated with urban communities, but telecom providers and electric fence manufacturers in New Zealand do recognise this as a significant cause of problems in rural communities and have produced a very useful leaflet on the subject. This can be obtained from the Gallagher electric fence company.

No comments:

Having had some major problems with my own broadband service, I understand how others struggle to get help from BT.

There is a lot of good information out there, but it can be hard to find. So this blog is an attempt to pull some of it together, in one place.

It's a blog that really shouldn't be needed - if only BT and possibly other ISP's in the UK, provided useful customer support.