Beer Fridge Causes Mobile Network Outage

Staff Writer
A beer fridge interrupted the bars, but not the establishment kind
Beer bottles
Thinkstock Photos

While he was reaching for a beer, others were trying to reach their network.

Difficulty looking for bars? Beer might be the culprit.

According to an NPR report, technicians at an Australian cellphone provider, Telstra, say that the source of a “black spot” interfering with the cell phone network in several neighborhoods was a beer fridge in a man’s garage.

The technicians used “software robots” and special antennas that led the workers to find that the motor of Craig Reynolds’ beer fridge was the source of the problem. An electric spark coming from the motor had created enough radio frequency noise to create blackouts for calls and Internet data alike.

This isn’t the first time a seemingly harmless device was the source of a mobile network blackout. ATMs and illegal signal boosters cause for hundreds of blackout cases every year, according to Telstra.

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Reynolds told the Herald Sun, “I’m going to run and see if my fridge is all right next time there’s a problem with the network.” Although it was the offender this time, Telstra says the company will not seek out beer fridges regularly in cases of network blackouts.