We had the same problem regarding maven dependencies... now we use archiva http://archiva.apache.org or artifactory http://www.jfrog.org/sites/artifactory/1.2 for full dependency control. These apps are a simple repo proxies: if not found in the local repo they will get it from a public repo and cache it for the next requests. Plus, these proxies are generally a lot faster compared to the public repo...
Joram, could you prepare a 5 minute explanation on how these repos work for the meeting? there will be wireless internet and a projector
Sure, no problem.