Broadband: what goes up may also go down

I mentioned last week that my broadband had suddenly halved its connection speed for no apparent reason. And after further discussion with the Tiscali support desk, it appears I’m some kind of idiot.
I got a call from their second-line guy midway through yesterday’s Arsenal game (thanks). He was very nice about it all, and pointed me to a website called samknows, which tells you stuff about your local telephone exchange. Very good site to have to hand, actually. And according to Sam, I ‘cannot receive 2Mbps ADSL’ – and I ‘may be able to receive 1Mbps ADSL’. Unfortunately, he couldn’t explain – and didn’t really seem to believe – that I had been getting 2Mbps quite successfully until a fortnight ago. Perhaps I was hallucinating.
So here we are: connecting at 1.1Mbps or thereabouts. It’s actually fast enough for almost everything I do… and if anything, it seems to be a bit more reliable. I’ve had occasional issues getting online at peak times, which this seems to have cured.
But take my advice, people. Get a screengrab from’s availability checker while you can… and have it ready in case things grind to a halt for you, too.