The Verizon guy turned up, and started running some
tests which confirmed what the support guy had said
on Saturday. After running his tests, he went and took
a look at the distribution board in the basement.
There, he found the problem. The line was installed
probably when the house was built back in 1986, and probably
never updated since then. As such, there was a bunch of
redundant bits (like a test point filled with resistors)
that did absolutely nothing other than degrade the line
quality. A few snips later, and chunks of circuit board
got removed. This improved things greatly. To round off
the job, he split the 4 wires into two pairs for voice/data,
and retested. Finally got my 1.5MB/s downstream.
Went into the office, and started digging through
mail. I am so swamped with patches its unfunny.
When I got back home, I spent some time getting
the wireless router working. Linksys really do seem
to have featuritis these days. I pity the non computer
literate folks trying to make head-or-tail of half
the options in their user interface.