You might think Google
And Big G isn't shy about lending a hand when the world needs more information, either.
Now open for business
Google just announced the Measurement Lab platform to help consumers understand their Internet connection better, and feed the academic world valuable connectivity data in the process.
The M-Lab was launched in conjunction with policy think tank The New America Foundation, where Google CEO Eric Schmidt is chairman of a high-powered board that includes leaders from institutions like Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and McKinsey. The PlanetLab consortium is another partner, and its charter members include Google, Intel
What Google gets out of this lab
The M-Lab will give researchers and common Internet users access to a series of high-octane servers with ultra-fat connectivity, scattered across the U.S. and Europe. Is your browser slow today? Pop on over and see whether it's your home network's fault or a new Comcast
"We care deeply about sustaining the Internet as an open platform for consumer choice and innovation," says Google spokesman and networking legend Vint Cerf. "Good data is the bedrock of sound policy," he continues, hinting at the possibility that M-Lab data could be used to influence governments and policy makers here and abroad. "Transparency has always been crucial to the success of the Internet, and M-Lab aims to help sustain a healthy, innovative Internet."
But wait, there's more!
Read between the lines, and you'll see that Cerf is really talking about protecting Google's business model. Reliable Internet connectivity, and more of it, is vital to Google's money-making models. The more we connect, the more we search -- and click on ads, shop online, sign up for services, and generally give Mountain View a backrub and some money.
More traffic is more money. And the ultimate goal of the M-Lab is to keep growing both of those stacks. As a shareholder, I don't think that's evil at all.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.