Google Readies Broadband Speed Test
Right on the heels of a simplified speed test by Netflix, Google is trying its own hand at letting users test their broadband speeds — without ever leaving the Google domain. Google’s experiments with broadband speed tests was first noticed by Twitter user Pete Meyers, who posted a photo of the effort, and also discovered a Google Support website that provides more detail. The only exception being what the end result will actually look like — and when it will formally launch.
According to Google, the core functionality is being provided by the folks at Measurement Lab (MLab), a group with a consumer advocacy bent, formed in 2009 to provide a little more transparency to broadband speeds and services.
Last year, MLAB released a test specifically aimed at trying to identify net neutrality violations by ISPs, ranging from throttling to intentional interconnection issues. MLAB played a starring role in providing data that suggested recent Netflix slow downs were the result of large ISPs letting peering points intentionally congest to force Netflix to pay for direct interconnection. A deal with Google would give the organization significantly more data for future disputes of this kind.
“To run the test, your IP address is shared with M-Lab, but no other personal information is shared,” Google states. “M-Lab incorporates your test results, which include your IP address, into their collection of global Internet performance data. M-Lab makes this information publicly available to advance Internet research.”
I’ve reached out to Google for more detail on when the speed test will launch (if ever), and just what connection information the test will show.