Google has announced the launch of a new initiative that will let web users see if their service provider is throttling their internet connection.

In a blog post, Google explains: "When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else? It can be difficult for experts, let alone average Internet users, to address this sort of question today".

Google, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers are launching the "Measurement Lab" (or "M-Lab"), an open platform for researchers.

Google will offer 36 servers in 12 locations in the US and Europe that will allow users to measure the speed of their connection, run diagnostics, and attempt to discern if their ISP is blocking or throttling particular applications.

Google says: "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".