Google begins efforts to determine whether your ISP is throttling your connection

Comcast is my internet service provider and I loath them with all my intellect.  When I suspected they were throttling my traffic and I called them about this they accused me of having a faulty wireless router.

It’s almost like the higher ups give the customer service reps canned responses for this sort of thing.  Anyway, it’ll be nice to finally switch to an ISP that adheres to net neutrality.

And thanks to Google, consumers will be able to better equip themselves against their ISPs.

Google will provide academic researchers with 36 servers in 12 locations in the United States and Europe to analyze data, said its chief Internet guru, Vint Cerf, known as the “father of the Internet.”

“When an Internet application doesn’t work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP (Internet service provider), the application, your PC (personal computer), or something else?” Cerf wrote in a blog post.

The effort aims to uncover the problem for users, Cerf said. Cerf is widely known for his work for the U.S. government in designing the Internet protocol in the 1970s and 1980s.

Unfortunately, the article doesn’t indicate whether or not Google will make this information  widely available or if they’ll make an application for individuals to test their ISP.

Update: In fact, they are making applications widely available.  Among these tools are: the Network Diagnostic Tool, which tests your connection speed and gives you a diagnosis on speed issues; Glasnost, which tests whether your ISP is blocking or throttling BitTorrent connections, and Network Path and Application Diagnosis, which helps you find problems that usually plague last-mile broadband networks. All of this is part of their Measurement Lab, a set of tools (some already working, some upcoming) for network diagnostics.

According to Mashable: “Before, tools such as these have been reserved for network administrators, hackers and other experts; now, Google is trying to introduce them to a wider audience. It’s not really that important if this wider audience will actually use these tools; what’s important is the fact that Google is taking a stand, saying: we’re going to help you fight for net neutrality even if the ISPs don’t like it.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, even for a giant like Google. If these tools were coming from another source, the ISPs would probably simply employ measures that render them useless. However, it’s much harder to block a service if Google stands behind it. On the other hand, even Google doesn’t want to anger every ISP that’s throttling network traffic in some way – and many of them are doing it. Net neutrality has just received a huge push; probably one that will ultimately turn the tide to its favor. “

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