Helpful VPN advice. Ironically my Virgin BB was restored after being down for most of Monday morning a few hours before this big outage and it stayed up. I was busily shopping for one of those Wifi routers with in-built 4g Modem when it came back.
In the meantime I was running over my phone tether and can confirm that 3 sims don't have the VPN restriction. At least their 'full fat' phone sims any way, cant confirm their data-only sims, but 3 are usually less 'death of a thousand cuts' than the rest of them. ie no extra charge for tethering etc etc.