For some reason, having switched it off when the previous occupants left, we now have to wait 2 weeks for BT to turn our broadband back on again. I know not why. They must literally have a system that includes a "wait two weeks for no good reason" step. As such I'm using my iPhone with internet tethering as my internet connection.

It works reasonably well, maxing out at about 50 kilobytes/s – which equates to about half a megabit, so stretching the term broadband quite thin but useable as long as you're not in a hurry. However I've noticed that O2 are pulling a fast one (pun intended) and rewriting JPEG and GIF images that you request via HTTP, re-encoding them at a much lower quality level, presumably in order to make your bandwidth go that much further.

I have a problem with this though as they've gone so far down the quality slope that the images are often no longer fit for purpose, with small text unreadable and photos suffering from JPEG artefacts so badly that there's only a muddy mess left. Here's a small screenshot from my blog sidebar, showing the knackered JPEG, which I have saved with very high quality JPEG compression so as not to introduce more artefacts. Of course when I review this post it'll get re-compressed by O2 again and look even more terrible (indeed the hyperlink text is near unreadable) but hopefully you won't have that problem unless you're also tethering.

O2CompressedJPEG

So this is a plea to O2, asking them to turn up the quality, if they must mess with the web at all.

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