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Technology firms test how floor coverings can affect Wi-Fi signals

In large houses, there is often a problem in Wi-Fi signals from a router not reaching the whole house. In New York, wireless firm Verizon has built a virtual house inside a data centre to test Wi-Fi coverage. The house can test how various floor coverings affect Wi-Fi signals.

Most internet service providers test signal interference by buying an empty house and trying out various forms of materials for floors and walls. Verizon decided that empty houses had too many test variables. Instead, they built a space inside a data centre to act as a virtual house. The 4,500 square feet structure has various rooms. For testing purposes, the rooms are furnished as if they were turned 90 degrees. Furniture is attached to parquet covered walls, which represent the floors.

The test rooms can research coverage for both the internet and the new Verizon home 5G network service, which connects home appliances and gadgets together on a smart network. 5G networks transfer data at high speeds but, compared to standard Wi-Fi signals, they are weaker. This makes it important that nothing in the home or office blocks the signal. Test have found that concrete floors can block Wi-Fi signals, but solid wood flooring has negligible effect.

Few people choose solid flooring for their Cheshire rooms based on how Wi-Fi signals can pass through them, but as homes and businesses connect more technology to their networks, floor and wall coverings that allow signals to pass through them could become preferred.

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