Smart engineers were forever using Linux (in particular, its traffic control/queue discipline functionality) to simulate WAN link impairment. Unfortunately, there’s a tiny hurdle you have to jump across: the tc CLI is even worse than iptables.
A long while ago someone published a tc wrapper that simulates shitty network connections and (for whatever reason) decided to call it Comcast. It probably does the job, but I would prefer to have something in Python. Daniel Dib found just that – tcconfig – and used it to simulate WAN link behavior on VMware vSphere.