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PPP drops connection persistently

I'm experiencing a lot of difficulties with an OpenBSD (2.7) box
and ppp connections to an(y) ISP.  I can't quite pinpoint the
problem.  Essentially, the ppp connection to ISP drops/dies.
I type 'ppp -auto <isp label>' and make a connection, it drops,
it tries to re-establish a connection, it last a few minutes
and then it drops.

To make matters worse the problem has arisen the same time
as another problem downloading news articles with (Yetman's)
suck package.  Suck would kill the ppp connection.  It
transpired there was a news article with an "ATH" etc
modem string embedded in a Message-ID.

I reboot the box, and ppp establishes a connection OK and it lasts.
I download a few news articles, and then it's gone.  So, it's
not quite clear if it's a suck/ppp problem, but maybe a general
news/ppp problem, or maybe even nothing remotely related to ppp.

Never seen anything like this before.  Ideas on a postcard pls.