The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the launch of a Speed Test app that measures mobile broadband performance for Android smartphones.
The app is now available as a free download from the Google Play store. Once installed, the app runs periodically in the background and performs tests when you aren’t using your device. There is a manual test option for on-demand mobile broadband testing.
In a statement, FCC said, “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 plans to come up with interactive maps and other tools to let consumers see “meaningful information about mobile broadband network performance around the country based on aggregate data collected by the app”.
By default, the app will use no more than 100 megabytes (MB) of cellular data each month for automated testing.
The app was developed in collaboration with a team of privacy experts, including federal partners, academia, and industry stakeholders, the FCC said. By using the FCC’s open source software, third parties can verify both the integrity of the software and how the information collected is being used.