If it was a framerate hiccup ( as in: the game no longer renders for a second ), then it’s indeed probably related to your hard drive loading stuff up.
We don’t currently have a streaming system in the background, so what the game does is based on your launcher quality setting. At high or extreme, it’ll pre-load all assets in ram and video-ram to minimize disk access. If you play in low or medium however, it’ll only pre-load the ships, and everything else ( stations, buildings etc… ) are loaded from disk on-demand. Which will cause serious hiccups in framerate if you don’t have an SSD.
If your hiccup was purely network related, you’d see ships jumping around / stuttering, but rendering wise you’d still have a responsive framerate. By the sound of it, your hiccup was the first scenario, the entire game froze for a second, and that’s probably not network related.