(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
tools, traffic shaping


Google Wants To Help People Check Their Broadband Connection For Traffic Shaping

from the name-and-shame-is-the-game dept

Well, well, well... With Cox getting aggressive with traffic shaping, it looks like Google is trying to give users the tools to find out what their ISP is actually doing to their broadband connection. The company has teamed up with the New America Foundation and Planet Lab to offer a platform for tools to measure what's happening on internet connections. The obvious thinking: the easier it is for anyone to recognize that their broadband connection is being tinkered with, the more likely an outcry is raised, and the provider is pushed to back down (at least on the more egregious practices -- such as what eventually happened with Comcast's traffic shaping).

It will be interesting to see where this goes, or how useful it really becomes. Without meaningful competition in the broadband space, it seems like ISPs are willing to risk some consumer anger -- knowing they really don't have many other options. Still, it does suggest one more reason why specific net neutrality regulations may be premature. Let's see if providing more info along with open tools can help keep ISPs more reasonable in their network management practices.

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