Ever wondered why your WiFi doesn't work as well as you expected, especially if you live in a highly populated part of town? The obvious, and oft-repeated, answer is that all those WiFi networks trying to work in the same vicinity just end up causing network edge congestion and that equals poor performance has been poo-pooed by a British report. The Ofcom regulator over here in the UK reported on the WiFi 2.4GHz band and discovered that WiFi slowdown is caused primarily by babies.
Well, baby listeners at any rate. You know, those devices parents use to listen to every gurgle the little kid makes in the room down the hall. The report reckons that these baby monitors, along with other non-WiFi kit such as security cameras and AV sender units, are causing WiFi interference. It suggests that
the "greatest concentration of different radio types tends to occur in urban centres, so interference tends to increase with population density" but admits that interference also occurs in low population density areas. This is because it can take just a single device, just one baby listener, to impact upon WiFi services within a short range leading to "a single large building" or a cluster of houses experiencing "difficulties with using a single WiFi channel."
The report does not blame the babies, however, nor the parents. Instead it blames "light regulation in the 2.4 GHz band" with a "plethora of radio types" not all designed via standardisation processes. The solution? Heavier regulation such as a certification scheme. "Co-existence must be enforced by some means if LE bands are to be shared effectively" it concludes.