FCC’s New App Tests Your Carrier’s Data Performance

The Federal Communications Commission’s latest Android mobile app will let you perform an FCC Speed Test to see your carrier’s data performance. It’s also an analysis tool that will allow the FCC to collect data performance from carriers – information that will be mapped and available to the public in the near future.

FCC Speed Test is an open-source, crowdsourcing program to assess mobile broadband performance nationwide. Developed in cooperation with broadband experts, major wireless service providers and other stakeholders, the app will provide consumers with open, transparent information on their own mobile broadband speeds. In 2014, the
FCC will release interactive maps and other tools to allow consumers to see meaningful information about mobile broadband network performance around the country based on aggregate data collected by the app.

Here are the app’s major features:

• 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.
• Tests run automatically, you don’t even have to think about it.
• 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 Cell ID, Signal Strength and GPS location.
• By default, testing is limited to 100 MB per month–always consider your broadband usage carefully on limited data allowance plans.
• Raise your data cap to see more performance data.
• Lower your data cap and set a date to reset data caps so you don’t go over the limit on your plan.
• The app is ad-free.

An iPhone app is expected to arrive in February, followed by apps for Windows and Blackberry.

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