Today, we are having a slow internet connection, which making maven based builds maven very slow. BC noticed that only the connections using the http protocol are slow, whereas connections using the https protocol are normally fast. As most maven repositories are exposed using both the http and the https protocol, all you have to do is to tell your local maven client to use https. The way I found to do that is by defining a mirror for the central repository.
Here is a modified settings.xml (located in ~/.m2/) that does it.
<settings> ... <mirrors> <mirror> <id>ibiblio.org</id> <name>ibiblio Mirror of http://repo1.maven.org/maven2/</name> <url>https://mirrors.ibiblio.org/pub/mirrors/maven2</url> <mirrorOf>central</mirrorOf> </mirror> </mirrors> ... </settings>