perhaps this is one of the not-so-obvious benefits of running a web
proxy cache such as squid. the greater internet can have larger
packets floating around, and the local proxy of the ISP can deal with
horrible tcp stacks, retransmissions and client machine with small
receive buffer sizes.
certainly from on the other side of the world here, i'd say it
would contribute to increasing the overall 'goodput' quite substancially,
in terms of the behaviour you describe above.