The brains at Google have just launched MLab – “an open platform that researchers can use to deploy Internet measurement tools” (as Google puts it).
From Google Blog:
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.
We just love the way that reads. ISPs, we hope you’re taking heed because we all know, you are all taking the heat (from a lot of unhappy and unsatisfied customers)!
We think the MLab tools can provide more accurate measurements to determine whether your ISP is really putting its best effort to deliver best effort performance. And here’s the clincher, with MLab you can determine if your ISP is throttling you. We like the Glasnost tool, it detects “whether your Internet access provider is performing application-specific traffic shaping. Currently, you can test if your ISP is throttling or blocking BitTorrent”.
Excellent info to have when you’re calling up Streamyx customer service (or any other ISP for that mater) to give them a mouthful because the internet speed is crap.
Knowing exactly what’s happening with your internet connection also give you choice. There are a lot out there, Maxis, Celcom, TM and P1 are all in it for your money. MLab’s “sharing is caring” allows you to learn from others and discern the best ISP for you.
MLab is still in beta and will benefit a whole heap from involvement efforts by everyone. If you’d like to contribute find out how on the MLAB official website