Are Christmas lights killing your Wi-Fi signal?

Posted at 7:03 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 19:03:46-05

The news is traveling like digital wildfire: Headlines in the Guardian, and even the Washington Post telling us that our Christmas lights could be killing our Wi-Fi.

Are we on the verge of a Christmas-computer catastrophe?

The premise behind the supposed digital disaster boils down to this: When you set up your tree with all those lights, the electricity running through the little bulbs and wires interferes with the signal coming from your Wi-Fi router.

It could slow down your online shopping, streaming and even texting, virtually ruining your holiday, according to British communications watchdog Ofcom.

But that's not true here in the United States.

Mike Ulloa, of GetTeck computer services, said Americans have nothing to fear because the Brits have twice the voltage coming out of their sockets.

"Having 230 volts, all that energy needs to be dissipated somehow," Ulloa said. "It's not automatically a problem here."

Locally, a Time Warner Cable spokesman said he's not heard of any Wi-Fi complaints because of Christmas lights.

So that's a relief -- unless you're Ashley Basius, who was practically looking forward to the apocalypse:

"Maybe we should actually do a blackout, and have families and people from families actually speak to each other during the holidays. Crazy, right?"