February 26, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just released a new app as part of its ongoing project to accurately measure mobile broadband performance in the U.S. As noted by The Verge, the app, called FCC Speed Test, constitutes a relaunch of a similar app released by the FCC in 2010. FCC Speed Test lets you test your mobile broadband performance (e.g. download and upload speeds, latency, and packet loss) with one tap. The performance data gathered through the app will be used by the FCC to build a map of mobile broadband performance across the U.S. FCC Speed Test has the following key features:
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 7.0 or later, FCC Speed Test is available now in the App Store for free. Of course, in this day and age, there's always the question of privacy. In the case of FCC Speed Test, the FCC asserts that testing is totally anonymous and that no personally identifiable information is collected through the app. FCC Speed Test is developed by SamKnows, a company that provides a free broadband measurement service for consumers, academics, industries, and governments. The app's predecessor from 2010, called FCC Mobile Broadband Test, was developed by Ookla, the company behind the popular network diagnostic app Speedtest.net. [gallery link="file" order="DESC"]
- Run manual tests on Download Speed, Upload Speed, Latency and Packet Loss. (Make sure to disable Wi-Fi before testing cellular broadband speeds.)
- Additional passive metrics collected such as Carrier, Country Code and GPS location.
- Access real-time performance data on your device.
- Historical results available at the touch of a screen.
- Be a volunteer! You can help the FCC’s Measuring Broadband America program in developing the first open and transparent information on mobile broadband performance in the United States.
- By default, there is a 100 MB limit per month but this can be changed according to your preference--always consider your broadband usage carefully on limited data allowance plans.
- The app is ad-free.