The US FCC has launched a new app that lets users measure their internet speed (both mobile and broadband), while the collected data will allow the regulatory body to get a better grip of broadband availability situation across the country. Unimaginatively named FCC Speed Test, the app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The goal is to collect crowdsourced data on broadband network performance in the United States as part of its Measuring Broadband America Program.
The FCC Speed Test app lets you measure metrics such as uplink and downlink speeds, latency, packet loss, and jitters. FCC says that if you download the app and provide the necessary internet speed data from your location, you will be contributing towards closing the digital divide. And if you feel that the cause is worth it, you can go ahead and describe in length how good (or bad) your internet service is, and submit it on the Broadband Data Task Force center.
– Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel.
But do keep in mind it is just your feedback, and doesn’t equate to an actionable consumer complaint. For that FCC has a dedicated Consumer Complaint Center where you can vent your frustration about the pathetic internet service you’re forced to live and work with. The core goal of launching the speed test app, however, is to gather precise, accurate, and up-to-date broadband mapping data. Those who volunteer to participate in FCC’s efforts may be asked to share more data by installing an updated version of the app in the near future.
However, FCC assures that its speed test app doesn’t collect any personally identifiable information. Upon installing the app, it schedules automatic background test runs, but you can prohibit permission to run speed tests over a cellular network to save mobile data. The official press release also mentions that the data submitted by users will be analyzed against what carriers and service providers furnish before FCC and use in their marketing material.