Google’s (GOOG) latest net neutrality volley: A set of tools to test your Internet connection, launched with academic research partners.
It’s called Measurement Lab, or M-Lab, and it launched today with three tools that could help users “to help users attempt to diagnose common problems that might impair their broadband speed, as well as determine whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled by their ISPs.”
Google’s servers are too busy to tell us if our ISP is blocking BitTorrent — we’re on an expensive corporate line, so we doubt it — but it could be a useful tool for folks who buy Internet service from Cox, the cable company. Cox said today it would start slowing down less time-sensitive data that its subscribers are sending, such as file transfers.
Why should Google bother with this? Beyond the company’s increasing desire to help set public Internet policy, it has a financial interest in making sure its users can access Google — and the Internet — as well as possible. And then there’s all the mushy, feel-good stuff, courtesy Google’s Vint Cerf and Stephen Stuart:
At Google, we care deeply about sustaining the Internet as an open platform for consumer choice and innovation. No matter your views on net neutrality and ISP network management practices, everyone can agree that Internet users deserve to be well-informed about what they’re getting when they sign up for broadband, and good data is the bedrock of sound policy. Transparency has always been crucial to the success of the Internet, and, by advancing network research in this area, M-Lab aims to help sustain a healthy, innovative Internet.
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