Official Response from TM’s Tech Support

So after wasting my time taking down my details and my username.

He tells me that there is ‘scheduled maintenance’. I say…well your scheduled maintenance was not announced anywhere. He tells me they are doing recabling works.

I ask if there’s anything I can do to alleviate the problem?

He tells me to flush my dns. I tell him it to flush that advice down the toilet.

Whether this recabling works is true remains a mystery but it would explain the patchy connectivity even with LOCAL sites.