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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Google Teams With Researchers To Identify ISPs Who Throttle

Google announced on Wednesday the launch of a new offering, Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform that researchers can use to deploy Internet measurement tools. Googles plans are to provide researchers with 36 servers in 12 locations in the U.S. and Europe over the course of 2009.

"Today, M-Lab is at the beginning of its development. To start, three tools running on servers near Google's headquarters are available 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. These tools were created by the individual researchers who helped found M-Lab. By running these tools, users will get information about their connection and provide researchers with valuable aggregate data. Like M-Lab itself these tools are still in development, and they will only support a limited number of simultaneous users at this initial stage."

Google has been open in the past about it's desires for net neutrality and M-Lab looks like it's aimed at ferreting out the offenders. "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."

Source: Official Google Blog