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Dodgy Christmas lights are being blamed for knocking over broadband connections, with imported flashing lights that don't meet UK electrical standards fingered as the worst offenders.

As a result, BT Wholesale has written to ISPs warning them to be on their guard over the festive season.

"It has come to BT's attention that an extremely small percentage of seasonal lighting, which can be used both internally and externally may cause interference with the broadband service.

"When the lighting control unit is set to any mode other than a steady state it may generate high levels of radio frequency noise and may cause the broadband service to lose synchronisation.

"Investigations have revealed that the broadband service may be impacted where the lights do not meet the standards necessary for customer equipment marking," it said.

So far, only a few dozen instances of flashing Christmas lights felling broadband have been reported. Incidentally, similar advice had to be issued last year. ®

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