It's quite some time since I dealt directly with modems and packets
moving over networks per se so some of this may well prove wrong - feel
free to point it out if I am someone.

 > 3. But surely, ASDL, cable, the backbone and decent 
 > intranets must all do hardware compression, don't they?  Or 
 > are they secretly not very keen on decreasing network traffic?

Perhaps there's an element of confusion in technologies.  A modem is an
analogue device.  It converts a digital signal into an analogue one to
transfer it over a phone line as audio.  As such, it is capable of being
compressed due to the nature of the signal (being audio and all).  A
digital network link (which includes ISDN, ADSL and the backbone link
stuff) is just that - a digital link.  No conversion to analogue takes
place.  On a digital link you're moving packets of data.  I doubt
there's much scope of a packet of data that would typically be under 1k
in size (going purely from memory here and quite happy to be told

Different technologies involve different concepts basically.

CYA, Dave

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