The set of tools was developed by Google in partnership with the New America Foundation, the PlanetLab Consortium and academic researchers

Google’s Vint Cerf and Stephen Stuart write on the official company blog:

“ By running these tools, users will get information about their connection and provide researchers with valuable aggregate data. Like M-Lab itself these tools are still in development, and they will only support a limited number of simultaneous users at this initial stage.”

“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.”

Cable companies have been claiming for a long time now that a new way of Internet speed management was needed in order to ensure that everyone a fair treatment. Last year, Comcast was caught playing around with its customers’ connection speeds, an action aimed specifically at those running BitTorrent. Eventually, the company had to give up the practice and set a monthly data cap.

In the mean time, Cox Communications announced its own set of plans, united under the name of “congestion management”