FCC releases free broadband speed test application

By on March 12, 2010, 12:49 PM
Want to know if your broadband service is really as fast as advertised? Those living in the United States can use a new tool released this week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will reveal information on their downlink and uplink speeds as well as on latency and jitter. The Consumer Broadband Test is currently live at broadband.gov and a mobile version is available through the Apple and Android app stores.

Of course there are already a ton of broadband tests available online, so the FCC is not just looking to provide another free service. Instead the government agency will collect your location information (like other tests do to a certain extent, anyway), using anonymous aggregate data to "analyze broadband quality and availability on geographic basis" and form its national broadband strategy.

The FCC is working with two independent companies to test broadband speeds: Ookla and M-Lab. Users are randomly assigned a testing application from either company. Those without broadband can alternatively fill out a small survey asking if there is no availability in their area, and if they would be willing to subscribe to broadband if it were available.

User Comments: 19

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flocka said:

9.45 kbps DOWN

3.9 kpbs UP

Guest said:

This is a very inaccurate test. Of course coming from the FCC this is what happens when you go to the lowest bidder.

From our blazing fast 50Mb pipe the results were:

771K Down

30 Mb Up

C'Mon guys. This is stupid.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It confirms that my download speed has essentially doubled over the last few months, but since I'm paying for the old speed I'm keeping quiet.

olefarte olefarte, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I get about the same as I get with other tests. 9423 kbps down and 740 kbps up, just about what it's supposed to be.

gobbybobby said:

''The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009''. They call it ''digital Britain'' over here! I get 1.5Meg Down and 448kbps down. They want to give everyone 2Mb By 2012 and have high speed broadband to ''most'' by 2017. That sucks Y not make it 50Mb To all by the end of next year?

Guest said:

it's scam they installing spyware on your system they logging peoples ip and location to track bittorrent users. DO NOT USE THAT SITE.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Huh, now I'm curious to see the numbers from my connection, but I can't say I'm thrilled to try a piece of government software.

levar said:

here are my results


and no "Guest" the site isn't installing any spyware on people's system, probably just spamming. Site is safe to use; what .gov site isn't safe to use? I'm guessing this is a part of the US trying to get broadband mainstream, it also provides a bit more and better information than speedtest does, and speedtest doesn't "collect your location information". Nice tool though thanks for sharing.

gary4gar said:

Tested.Works as expected. Hopefully they generate some valuable data which would help them in making policies

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

3168 kb down 495 kb up. Yep thats about right. have a 3mb/s by .5mb/s connection at work.

jasonk1229 said:

well see how it goes

Guest said:

Anyone disturbed by the fact that the U.S. government is trying to see what everyone is getting for internet speed. I don't even like private industry to snoop around. I hope this trend of the big nanny state stops.

pipopaz said:

Just a reminder that it says Beta, it might explain inaccuracies. Now regarding FCC involvement, I hope it doesn't end up costing us, the users later on.

Guest said:

i have 50mb down and 5 mb upload connection and my local ips speed test site shows that for speed as well as other sites. but this fcc site only giving me download of 17mb and 2mb upload come on the fcc should useing a oc-192 connection for there main systems i pay taxes for what again.

rskapadia2294 said:

i think its a good move! so that Internet suppliers don't cheat their customers!

but FCC should first check its own system!

Guest said:

Oh, yeah. I'm just dying to download a piece of software from the U.S. government and install it on my computer. We all trust the U.S. government...right?

Thompson said:

At least a government agency is actually trying to do something positive to the internet in it's country, anyone ever heard of a little island called Australia?

Down here our government is wildly flailing it's arms around like an epileptic cockroach trying to figure out how best to **** up the internet as badly as possible, if you live in a big city you're in luck as you'll have something at least equivalent to the sort of internet connection available to an impoverished Japanese man and if you live in the country then, as proved by an ABC television show 'Hungry Beast' it's faster to send a carrier pigeon with a USB stick than to transfer a file.

Serag said:

Interesting idea of the application..wish we had an organization as powerful as FCC here in my country...

Yoda8232 said:

Takes too long, but it works.

speedtest.net is my favorite because you can pick the closest server nearest to you worldwide.

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