British engineers create ADSL broadband over wet string, just for fun.

Sometimes, the best innovations happen because someone decided to simply see if it could be done. That’s the case of a British internet service provider Andrews and Arnold whose team was sitting around bored one day and thought to ask, “Hmm, I wonder if this wet piece of twine will carry a broadband signal?”

The answer, folks, is yes!

When word got out, the company was quick to point out first that there are no viable commercial applications for wet string signals (despite the none-too-shabby signal strength of 3.5 Mbps), and second that there will be no replacing of cables with twine at any point in the future. Customers, you may breathe a sigh of relief.

The string was originally soaked in salt water, according to a report by the BBC, but that had little bearing on the effectiveness of the string. That’s because salt would have possibly upped the electrical conductivity qualities, but not the broadband signal.

Engineers at a small British internet service provider have successfully made a broadband connection work over 2m (6ft 7in) of wet string.

The engineers at Andrews and Arnold didn’t quite hit this speed, but come on – they sent it through string!


While all the fun and games led to an interesting finding the UberFacts is certain to tweet out, the reality is that this experiment does translate into a better understanding of ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) cable capabilities. It might even have ramifications for end-of-the-world preppers looking to connect online and communicate in a 21st century version of the HAM radio. It’s almost certain to appear in some form of action movie starring either Tom Cruise or Matt Damon, though.

Before anyone suggests it, this method is not recommended for skirting any new net neutrality rollbacks in the US. However, should you find a viable alternative to allowing corporations to restructure the internet into tiered payment levels, do pass along the word to your fellow users.