Posted 11/15/2013 at 5:12 PM
Posted 4 years ago
The Federal Communication Commission, better known as the FCC, has released a new Android app that will let you reliably test the speed of your mobile broadband.
The app, which is designed to help the FCC include more wireless data in its reports on the state of broadband in America, will (once installed) let you run a test and have the app run occasionally in the background of your device.
In helping to determine whether you broadband is up to par, FCC Speed Test will test upload speed, download speed, latency, and packet loss. In running your own test, you will be able to choose from each of the categories individually.
The FCC has described the app as an “open source, crowdsourcing program.” The “open source” part of that description sounds great, the “crowdsourcing” part, not quite so great. This is because the FCC says that the app will send data back to them as part of the Measuring Broadband America program. Before you get overly worried though, the FCC does promise that only anonymous data is collected and no identifiable information will be viewable.
The other concern surrounding the FCC Speed Test is how much data it will use. According to the Commission, tests will take up a maximum of 100 MB a month; however, this number can be changed in the settings.
Aside from the speed and quality tests, the FCC says app will record four other types of information: location, time of data collection, handset type and OS version, and cell performance and characteristics.
The FCC Speed Test is a potentially useful tool for users while benefitting the FCC greatly. Given the recent track record of the government when it comes to snooping on data, you have to wonder how many people will trust the app, though.
If you want to try out the FCC Speed Test, you can do so now by downloading it for free from the Google Play Store.