The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been forced to rely in Internet Service Providers (ISP) including mobile phone carriers to tell them what kind of data coverage and speeds are available across the United States, often with ISPs and mobile phone carriers exaggerating how fast and how broad their coverage is in an attempt to keep the FCC from implementing new regulations mandating new rural coverage programs. But now, the FCC has come out with a new speed test app and they are asking the public’s help. They want the public to run the speed test app so they can get a more accurate picture of the true coverage and speed of wireless data coverage and overall broadband data speeds in America.
The FCC’s new app works very similar to Ookla’s and Fast which was made by Netflix. Once a user downloads the free app, all they have to do is press the test button and it will download and upload a data packet and give the results to you and the FCC. The only information the FCC will get is the data speeds, latency, internet provider and location.
Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said on Monday “Expending the base on consumers who use the FCC Speed Test app will enable us to provide improved coverage information to the public and add to the measurement tools we’re developing to show where broadband is truly available throughout the United States.” The FCC has, so far, been forced to take the word of providers like AT&T or Verizon creating significant complaints from consumers who have argued the FCC broadband maps are not accurate.