This morning, I'm a happy bunny.
Yesterday, TalkTalk definitely had problems, but today everything is looking good. This morning, I tried the router again, and it was connected. The password I put in yesterday was working just fine.
There's no technical issues to make this different from other broadband, and at least two of my routers work (the basic old Netgear and the Fritz box).
The Fritz box's snazzy diagnostics tell me I'm getting the same 2 Mbit/s that Pipex was giving me (though the line is actually capable of 8 Mbit/s). But I'm not grumbling.
Just to check things fully, I made a call to Tech support, feeling somewhat embarassed to make a call with no actual support problem. I got connected in about one minute and had a useful conversation. f
Apparently, there were "technical problems with the phone system" yesterday, that cut people off. I had a clear and coherent conversation for two or three minutes today and didn't see any trouble. I asked about the speed and got a sensible answer. I'm getting 2 Mbit/s because they're currently using the BT equipment. By the end of next year, TalkTalk, with "unbundling" hopes to upgrade its own equipment in the majority of exchanges, and will send me a letter when this happens.
My friend in the callcentre tells me that TalkTalk has already upgraded about 30 percent of its customers.
On the basis of this - I say go for it. If you can dial a phone and enter a password to your router, and if saving £20 a month is meaningful, TalkTalk's technology and support seems adequate so far.
The parcel at the Post Office? That turned out to be a re herring - some spring bulbs that are due to be planted now.