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Broadband ISPs Braced for Weekend of Heavy Thunder and Rain Storms

Friday, Jul 18th, 2014 (1:34 pm) - Score 1,552

Internet and telephone providers across the United Kingdom, particularly those in England, are bracing themselves for a weekend of turbulent weather as the meeting of a high and low pressure front converge to create heavy thunder and rain storms, which could cause damage to telecoms networks and create connectivity problems for customers.

According to the Met Office, “High pressure is situated to the north of the UK, with low pressure to the southwest. This had the effect of pulling warm air from Spain, across the UK, leading to a band of thundery showers developing. This is indicated by the trough line shown across the south of England.”

19th july 2014 weather warning_uk

Mercifully none of the UK is currently the subject of a Red Warning level for serious storms, although the areas anticipated to be worst affected – Amber Warning – tend to include the East Midlands, East of England, London & South East England, North East England, North West England, South West England, Wales, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber.

Naturally heavy rainfall can easily cause flooding and create headaches for telecoms operators like BTOpenreach, especially when they occur over such a wide area. At the same time Thunder and Lighting can trigger power surges and cause electromagnetic interference, which is sometimes enough to knock your Internet connection offline (remotely or locally), especially if you own older/cheaper kit with poorly shielded components.

Last year Eclipse Internet produced a lovely real-time video that demonstrated how a powerful storm, tracking its way across England, could impact the connectivity of their copper line based broadband customers. The video is re-posted again below, with yellow, orange and red dots representing failing connections as the circled storm progresses.

In addition some of you may have already experienced some outages during last night’s storm, although most of those affected probably slept their way through it. Sadly some ISPs weren’t so lucky, with FibreWiFi noting that “multiple overhead power lines were damaged across Essex and Suffolk” and this has caused an outage on their wireless broadband network.

Generally speaking we don’t think the forthcoming weather will be too bad, although Aquiss has advised customers to consider unplugging their routers and phones during the storm. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have surge protectors on related plugs.

The bad weather itself will probably occur throughout Saturday, although the worst storms are most likely to be created during the afternoon heat.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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