I believe the answer is yes. You should be able to get around this problem by using the bundled cURL library. I'm not familiar with cURL, but after a little bit of digging, I think this may help you.
$file_contents = file_get_contents('http://example.com/');
$handle = curl_init();
curl_setopt ($handle, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://example.com');
curl_setopt ($handle, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt ($handle, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 1);
$file_contents = curl_exec($handle);
Doodz who are more familiar with cURL should check this for me, but I think it is more or less correct.
Keystone Websites | si-blog