The M-Lab team is excited to officially announce the launch of the Wehe measurement service on the platform. Working closely with the Wehe research team headed by David Choffnes, Associate Professor at Northeastern University, M-Lab launched the new measurement service, which is focused on net neutrality, in late 2020. The French telecom regulator, Arcep, announced their integration of Wehe in December.
Wehe analyzes internet traffic to determine whether an ISP may be throttling or prioritizing certain services. The test is performed in two stages. First, the tool simulates using a popular service (e.g., video streaming) to see how the client’s ISP treats actual network traffic generated by that service. Second, the tool simulates (“replays”) that same traffic, but this time replaces it with scrambled content that does not resemble any service. If a disparity is found between the transfer rates of the two simulations, there is cause to suspect that the ISP is using content or port-based traffic management.
The Wehe team is supporting France’s telecommunications regulator, Arcep, as a part of their regulatory process. Wehe has been available as an Android application since 2017, and their iOS version launched in early 2018. Arcep first advertised the availability of the Wehe tool for French users in late 2018, giving Android and iOS users the ability to actively contribute measurements of potential traffic throttling practices to the regulatory process. As Arcep reports, “since it first launched, close to 145,000 tests have been run in France using the Wehe tool and, to date, no differentiation has been detected through the application.” The Wehe team provides additional, non-M-Lab servers to support Arcep’s use.
Anyone can download and use the Wehe application, available for Android and iOS. The Wehe measurement service is available worldwide on M-Lab and publishing raw data to GCS now. Our team is continuing to work with the Wehe team to publish collected data in BigQuery. This is the first new measurement service to be rolled out since our platform upgrade in 2019, and a fitting beginning to 2021. We’re looking forward to seeing what Wehe data reveals!