Google's Measurement Labs To Uncover ISP Speed Fraud

Google Inc., in conjunction with its partners, has announced a set of tools that would assist broadband customers and researchers to gauge performance of their broadband connections.

The internet search behemoth, along with PlanetLab and New America, has put forth a platform, codenamed as “Measurement Lab”, which is an open group of distributed servers intended to comprehend internet speeds, variation, and latency.

This new set of tools would further aid broadband users to find out whether their internet service providers are slowing or blocking their internet speeds.

Measurement Lab, or simply referred to as “M-Lab”, comprises of a range of useful tools that include, network and network path diagnostic tools, and a tool to determine that whether the users’ ISP is dimming the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P-to-P) sharing speeds.

However, M-Lab will further incorporate useful tools that can help in determining whether an ISP is favouring some traffic over the other, and a tool that will facilitate in depicting whether a provider is demeaning certain applications or users.

Launched on Wednesday, the project has been kicked off by three Google servers, with the company vowing to provide 36 different servers for 12 distinct locations across the world.

Upholding transparency as the goal of the service, Google’s chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf said in a statement, “Our intent is to make more [information] visible for all who are interested in the way the network is functioning at all layers.”

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Our Comments

Google's New Measurement Labs could also be used to measure broadband speeds as well just like Speedtest or similar websites. Google's relative independence and antagonism vis-a-vis some ISPs also underlines the fact that the search engine is not doing it for the fun of it. Right now only some of the features (like P2P tester Glasnost) are available with more to come. Furthermore, there are a number of problems. I tried to test some of the services but got "server unavailable" as well as 40 errors.

Related Links

Welcome to Measurement Lab

(Google)

Google, universities offer tool to detect Net filtering, blocking

(CNet)

Google, Partners Release Net Neutrality Tools

(PC World)

Google lets users search for Internet blockers

(Reuters)

Google, others launch M-Lab to track network openness

(Ars Technica)

Google Aims To Expose Network Meddling

(Information Week)

Is Your ISP Throttling Bandwidth? Google Will Know

(PCMag)

Google Fans Net Neutrality Flames with Web Measurement Lab

(eWeek)

Google sets up online broadband testing lab

(Associated Press)

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