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As many as one in five households could see their internet connection suffer due to their router being too close to a lamp, phone, stereo or baby monitor.

That is the verdict of Ofcom, which claims many homes receive a fast broadband connection through their phone line, only for the signal to be hit with interference as it travels to a user's computer, smartphone or tablet.

Ofcom's Chief Executive Sharon White claims customers need to be more aware of how best to set up their systems to ensure they're getting the best out of their connections.

Writing for the Telegraph she said: "We estimate that consumers' home broadband experience may not be working as well as it could in around a fifth of UK homes.

"This is often caused by something unrelated to the internet connection, which could be as simple as interference to the broadband router from a lamp, stereo speakers or baby monitor."

regulator is, in the next few weeks, set to release a new app that will help users check whether their set-up is the root of the problem, although it will be unable to identify specific causes of interference.

However, it will look at all the possible causes and offer simple tips on how to address the issue.

Testing on the new tool has already begun ahead of a proposed December launch.

Over 20 million homes across the UK are thought to have broadband access, with an average speed of 18.7 Mbps, although that figure refers to the speed in which data travels to the router from the telephone line.

Wireless routers are commonly used in cases where more than one device is connected to a system.

The router emits a Wi-Fi signal that travels in waves through the air like any other radio signal, moving in straight lines.

By their very nature, it means walls and other objects can interfere with the signal before it reaches a computer.

Transmitters and receivers are therefore likely to be affected by rival waves, meaning Ofcom is now recommending users keep routers "as far away as possible" from other electrical devices.

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