Measurement Lab from Google is said to be created so that…
…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, the application, your PC, or something else? It can be difficult for experts, let alone average Internet users, to address this sort of question today.
What this means, really means, is actually kind of interesting. See, Google has partnered with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers to put real time and resources behind their beleif in net neutrality. (The net neutrality bill would prevent ISPs from blocking web content.)
Measurement Lab, or M-Lab, will detect when an ISP blocking an Internet application. With Google money, a big hurdle, lack of servers, will no longer be a big issue for a project like this. Google is supplying 36 servers to 12 locations in the U.S. and Europe.
There are lots of lofty, high-falutin’ reasons to get behind net neutrality (love of the constitution, freedom of speech, belief in freeing all information, open borders, transparency, the list goes on…) and there are lots of selfish reasons (love of downloading Oscar nominated movies without forking over the cash, love of porn, love of checking out new musicians before buying the CD…all enabled by morally ambiguous applications like BitTorrent).
Verdict: Go, Google, Go.