Google caught a fair bit of flack for siding with the wireless carriers in the net neutrally debate, but in exchange they seem to be living up to their commitments to protecting the wired Internet as promised. The search giant confirmed today that they have awarded a $1 million contract to Georgia Tech researchers to help develop simple tools to aid in the detection of Internet throttling, government censorship, and other “transparency” problems.
The funding is set to pay out over a two year period, with an additional $500,000 extension possible if Google determines it is worth the additional investment. The Georgia Tech team has set out with the goal of making these tools Web-based, and available equally to everyone around the globe across a variety of platforms such as PC’s and Smartphones. According to professor Wenke Lee, these tools should help customers determine if they are actually getting what they are paying for, and just maybe, help keep our ISP’s honest.
Certainly a huge need for this kind of service is obvious, but it’s unclear why Google wouldn’t simply commit to building out something like this themselves. I suppose you could make the argument that having this work done by an outside agency would prevent any conspiracy theories as to what Google gets out of it, but then again they are technically on the company payroll.
Either way we are pleased to see this work getting done, and can’t wait to see the results.