As part of the agency’s Measuring Broadband America Program, the FCC is looking to the crowd (that means you!) to help them assess America’s mobile broadband performance on a national scale. Their hope is to use the data they collect anonymously through their new FCC Speed Test app—Android-only for now—to create a detailed picture that could improve both the cellular and WIFI speeds you experience on your mobile device. And don’t worry: No personally identifiable data is collected.
HOW IT WORKS
After you download the app onto your phone, tablet or other Android device, FCC Speed Test needs to activated by a simple click under the menu. Once activated, a configuration file schedules the speed tests. There are also options for data transfer limits (a “Mobile Data Cap,” depending on what kind of data plan you have) and a choice of location services (“Mobile Network”) the app uses to optimize your battery power. You’ll be able to see the details of a particular or most recent test by just swiping to the left of your screen.
A forthcoming website coming out later this year will allow you to view the results of the test and download the data. (The app was created with open source software, so you can see the code too!)
Get more potentially life-enhancing government apps by running your fingers on over to the USA.gov Apps Gallery.