The holidays just wouldn鈥檛 be the same without the festive triple threats of聽family, friends and fairy lights. But what if we were to tell you that those fanciful string lights you so patiently聽adorn the tree聽and your home with each year could be putting a real damper on聽your holiday celebrations? According to聽British telecom regulator聽Ofcom, those fairy lights might be slowing down your Internet speeds聽during the busiest time of year.

Ofcom鈥檚 report suggests that it鈥檚 no coincidence that complaints to Internet service providers increase during the holidays. Alongside baby monitors聽and microwave ovens, fairy lights makes the聽list of electronics that may actually interfere with聽2.4GHz WiFi signals.


Ofcom estimates聽that up to six million homes and offices might be silently suffering from the string light syndrome. Homeowners can find out if they鈥檙e among the affected by downloading the Ofcom WiFi Checker app (free on iOS and Android). The app runs tests for data loss and delay and then communicates聽WiFi performance聽back聽to users.

Even if聽you suspect that聽your twinkling tree is responsible for that聽choppy聽Hulu聽streaming session, don鈥檛 let the digital grinch steal your Christmas just yet. Fairy lights are only one potential WiFi聽interference culprit among the聽plethora of electronics聽in our modern homes. Rather than tearing down your hard work, Ofcom suggests taking聽small actions like restarting聽the router or using an Ethernet cable聽(yes, those still exist!) in lieu of WiFi.聽You can also temporarily move your router during the holidays.

So decorate without fear!

Will this news change your holiday decorating strategy, or will you stay true to your string light tradition?聽Tweet us @BritandCo!