goodie: I think this must be a issue wide to orcons '256k/128k 40Gig' plan, rather than all (now 3) of us having similar wiring issues in a similar time frame, as I've had the exact same experience. Brilliant speeds up to 2mb and then it suddenly dropped out down to 256k or even lower during peak times during this year.
When I did get through to orcon on the phone i essentially got told that everything was ok and they weren't going to do anything about it, rather unimpressed there.
I was on the 256k plan 40 gig plan - but have since upgraded to the Fullspeed plan, and my linespeed has gone to the dogs.
I was getting 3MB downloads on the 256/128k 40gig plan, and just assumed that Orcon had finally throttled down my account, to that which I was actually paying for. I was happy to upgrade to the Fullspeed Purple plan, assuming that I'd get faster speeds, and when I called Orcon to discuss why I was not, I explained that I'd been getting faster speeds on the 256k plan. The support person told me that the linespeed wasn't monitored that much - so that I shouldn't worry about that.
I think where my case is different from yours Goodie - is that I'm getting greater than 256k, which would indicate I'm on a Fullspeed plan - but I should be getting more than what I'm getting - as the cabinets are within 1km.
I am now getting 1Mb downloads and and 0.13Mb downloads. It is annoying that I'm paying much the same as that plan, and speeds are no greater, and sometimes less currently.
Spoke to Orcon again - and it is still the Chorus/Visionstream/Telecom strikes that are preventing anything being done. Was told there are no technicians basically.
It does seem there's no real competition when ultimately the ISP's that are ostensibly providing services that will help drive down the prices - rely entirely on the one company to maintain the infrastructure. I'm sure I could vent at Orcon - but I'd imagine there's sweet FA they can do about it really.