Baby gadgets guzzle Wi-Fi

wireless antenna

Household gadgets like TVs and baby monitors are to blame for interrupting Wi-Fi signals in cities and other urban areas, according to a report commissioned by Ofcom.

The survey of Wi-Fi use was carried out in various places across the UK by Mass Consultants. It showed that although the majority of people accused congestion as the culprit of their bad Wi-Fi connections, this was not the case.

Instead it seems that unlicensed electrical equipment using the 2.4GHz band alongside Wi-Fi interferes with the connection.

The report said: "Our measurements and experiments suggest that the Wi-Fi networks are capable of carrying much more traffic than they actually do. However, interference between different types of devices is commonplace, leading to loss of service quality for many users."

"Use of the word 'congestion' is misleading in this context, as it implies that performance degradation is due to high levels of usage, which is not supported by our measurements."

"The drop in performance in urban areas appears to be mainly the result of interference from other wireless devices, problems in the wired Internet and problems with device configuration."

The report concluded with a proposal that devices should carry a logo to show if it is "2.4GHz friendly". It also suggested the survey should be repeated every two years to keep an eye on the increase in use of the band.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.