On practically every website I go to, there is short burst of network activity, then it drops down to zilch for 3-5 seconds at a time. Then the rest of the page loads in one swoop without any further delays. I'm watching this happen on the Network Meter Gadget and through a couple of the Windows 7 built-in's.
Another oddity is that a torrent will be downloading at 66% of my max speed, but as soon as I go to a web site using my browser, all network activity ceases for 4-5 seconds right after the browser contacts the website (after DNS resolution) and downloading that.
Which makes me think that AT&T (DSL) is definitely squelching my network connection when it sees HTTP activity afetr a lull. FTP, Torrent, and NNTP traffic does not seem affected. But as soon something up the line sees HTTP traffic... it inserts an artificial annoying delay (to try and get me to upgrade speeds again). At least that's my theory. And it's not like they haven't played games like this before.
Does this sound plausible, or could there be another valid explanation?
Windows 7, Firefox 12.0 (Ghostery, Adblock), WRT54G, Siemens 4100B, AT&T DSL 3Mbps.