This is part of FCC’s Broadband Data Collection initiative that aims to have comprehensive data when it comes to the state of broadband in the US. FCC’s app is similar to other speed-test apps which let users test their broadband performance in their mobile devices and also in-home broadband network.
According to Acting Chairwoman Rosenworvel that to ensure that the gap “between digital have and have nots” to be closed, they are working on a “comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability.” She then continues, “Expanding the base of 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.”
According to FCC, the app will provide the result both to the user and the commission, and rest assured, the results will be private and confidential. Using the data provided to FCC, they will be able to compare broadband data connectivity especially with internet service providers such as AT&T and Verizon.
In a press release, FCC stated that the app’s purpose is to “challenge the provider-submitted maps” as soon as the Broadband Data Collection systems are available.
For some time already, according to The Verge, there had been broadband access advocates who constantly challenge the self-reported maps from internet service providers which seems exaggerated. The FCC also encouraged the public to fact-check ISP display data by submitting a form. This is for users who are located on a current broadband map.
The FCC Speed Test App is available to download for both Android and iOS.