On SUSE we use the yast package manager to install all of the OS-provided packages. But it has to be explicitly told to work with network package sources (unless the installation source to start with was a network source). The best solution to this problem I can come up with is to provide a list of known sources (kernel.org, gatech.edu, and a few others are known to be reasonably reliable and fast mirrors) and allow the user to choose one. We then can insert it using the "y2pmsh source -a" command. Things should then work as they should have to start with.
Add a menu of remote installation sources for SUSE