Did you know it’s possible for the sun to cause your cable TV and internet signal to fade or briefly disconnect? Sun spots, or a sun outage, occur during two distinct times of the year: late February into early March and late September into early October. The service disruption can be difficult to understand, especially when you look outside and the sky is clear, so we’ve created a simplified explainer to help you understand these unique (but predictable) solar interruptions.
As our planet travels around the sun, the temperatures rise for regions tilted more directly at the sun and cool in areas tilted away from the sun. But, during two distinct periods, known as the March equinox and September equinox, no part of the Earth is titled toward or away from the sun. When there’s no tilt, the Earth’s equator is directly beneath the sun.
The satellites that provide the signal that give you cable television and satellite internet orbit the equator. During the equinox periods, the sun, satellites that provide your cable and internet services, and the earth all align. Frequency from the sun disrupts the frequency created by the satellites, causing a disruption to your telecommunication services.
These interruptions typically last no longer than 10 minutes each day over a 7 to 8-day period, and may be so minimal you don’t even notice a disruption. The problem isn’t unique to HTC members. The minor disturbances are an industry wide issue, and one that can’t be avoided due to this naturally occurring phenomenon.