FCC's Speed Test app for Android now available on Google Play

By on November 15, 2013, 10:30 AM

As promised, the Federal Communications Commission has released the first version of its 'Speed Test' app for Android smartphones on Thursday. If you think you're not getting the mobile broadband performance you're paying for now you can use this tool to find out for sure.

Once installed, the application will periodically run in the background and perform automated mobile broadband and Wi-Fi tests when the handset is not being used. For those who are interested, there is also a manual option to run the application. In default mode, the application will not consume more than 100MB of data each month, although this is a soft limit and can be altered from within the app.

Besides providing consumers with data to make fact-based decisions about their wireless carriers, the application will also send anonymous data to the government agency.

The data collected through the application will be used by the FCC to provide accurate information on mobile broadband performance across the United States. The application's privacy policy says that the data collection is a fully anonymous process as no personal or uniquely identifiable information will be collected.

The FCC Speed Test app is being developed by the agency in cooperation with broadband experts and major wireless service providers to promote transparency in advertised mobile broadband speeds. The government agency is open to suggestions from third parties, which can use the app's open source code and data to verify the software's integrity as well as how the collected information is being used.

The application can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store.




User Comments: 14

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ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

This is a cool app but I don't like the fact that it would be sending my data "anonymously". I never trust these types of things.

Also: the article picture is an iPhone and this app is for Android.

ShadowDeath said:

Mine claims that I'm getting 17.17 Mbps down and 3.90Mbps up.. that's a bold faced lie. Download any file and I don't hit any where near those speeds.

Guest said:

It is likely testing bandwidth out to your cellular provider and back. Downloading a file is likely crossing bandwidth not supported by your carrier and would not be considered in your available bandwidth rates.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm honestly not certain what speed is included in my data service. It's always been advertised as "Unlimited Data", and didn't have a speed rating. Doesn't matter, 90% of the time I use data on my phone it's over WiFi.

1 person liked this | ferrellsl said:

I bet this app was developed by the NSA.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

This is a cool app but I don't like the fact that it would be sending my data "anonymously". I never trust these types of things.

Also: the article picture is an iPhone and this app is for Android.

I bet this app was developed by the NSA.

You realize attaching a name or personal information to something like this would be beyond useless, it would actually get in the way. If the NSA wanted to hack into your phone and get personal information out of it, they wouldn't disguise it as a government app. They'd call it Angry Birds Star Trek and when they 'checked for updates' they'd steal your info.

Me personally... I have some extra data on my plan, and I'll run it. And I hope others to do, because they're doing this FOR US! They're making sure we're not getting ripped off, and a few months from now, maybe some carrier will be called out for slow connections and poor service and they'll improve it.

Yeah yeah.. I know... then when the carriers upgrade their network, the NSA will just be able to collect our data faster, right?

ferrellsl said:

This is a cool app but I don't like the fact that it would be sending my data "anonymously". I never trust these types of things.

Also: the article picture is an iPhone and this app is for Android.

I bet this app was developed by the NSA.

You realize attaching a name or personal information to something like this would be beyond useless, it would actually get in the way. If the NSA wanted to hack into your phone and get personal information out of it, they wouldn't disguise it as a government app. They'd call it Angry Birds Star Trek and when they 'checked for updates' they'd steal your info.

Me personally... I have some extra data on my plan, and I'll run it. And I hope others to do, because they're doing this FOR US! They're making sure we're not getting ripped off, and a few months from now, maybe some carrier will be called out for slow connections and poor service and they'll improve it.

Yeah yeah.. I know... then when the carriers upgrade their network, the NSA will just be able to collect our data faster, right?

Yep, we all know our government is all about "taking care of us". One way or another, they intend to take care of us alright!

Guest said:

Do you happen to know the difference between mbps and MBps?

2 people like this | ferrellsl said:

Do you know the difference between benevolent and malevolent?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Yep, we all know our government is all about "taking care of us". One way or another, they intend to take care of us alright!

For all the time we spend talking about the evils of 'corporate greed' and how the little guy is getting screwed, you'd think when a story comes along about those same companies are getting pressure from the govt we'd be supportive.

The FCC is going to make sure we're getting what we paid for, but first they need to know what we're getting. So they're asking us to tell them our connection speeds. And to make it as easy as possible for us to get connection speeds at different locations without it being any work, they built this FREE app that'll automatically do everything for us. All we need to do is install it.

Here's what's really will happen... people will install it, the FCC will collect data, they'll find that Sprint basically has a rat on a rubber band running their servers, but because the govt is about as efficient as a steam-powered ice maker, nothing will ever come of it, and it'll cost a ton of money.

I have nothing against being cynical, but let's at least put our attention in the appropriate place.

ferrellsl said:

Why should I install this app? There are already plenty of free apps that do this same thing such as Speedtest.net. And with the latest revelations about NSA spying why would I willingly put ANYTHING sponsored by the US govt. on my phone or PC? I have no more desire to install US govt. sponsored software on my phone than I do software sponsored by the Chinese govt. Trust me, the US govt. already knows our bandwidth rates and usage among other things. I should know. I worked for the govt. until Dec. of 2010. You would be livid if you had any idea what they already know about you.

Have you ever heard the comment,"We're from the govt. and we're here to help"?

It applies here just as much as with any other aspect of our lives.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Why should I install this app? There are already plenty of free apps that do this same thing such as Speedtest.net. And with the latest revelations about NSA spying why would I willingly put ANYTHING sponsored by the US govt. on my phone or PC? I have no more desire to install US govt. sponsored software on my phone than I do software sponsored by the Chinese govt. Trust me, the US govt. already knows our bandwidth rates and usage among other things. I should know. I worked for the govt. until Dec. of 2010. You would be livid if you had any idea what they already know about you.

Have you ever heard the comment,"We're from the govt. and we're here to help"?

It applies here just as much as with any other aspect of our lives.

C'mon, have you been reading the news recently? US Govt sponsored software doesn't actually work most of the time. Something about 'glitches'.

I'd be livid if I knew what the govt knew about me? How so? All the important stuff is govt stuff already. SSN, driver's license #, etc... anything financial can be checked anytime if I get audited by the IRS. Considering that I'm a tax payer in a country where every day more and more people are tax receivers, what the govt knows about me isn't very high on the list of govt. things that make me upset.

ferrellsl said:

All the more reason not to install it. I don't want "glitchy" software on my systems any more than I want spyware on my systems. As for being livid, that depends on how you value your privacy. Apparently you don't.

Guest said:

Do you happen to know the difference between mbps and MBps?

Mbps - megabits/sec

MBps - megabytes/sec

A Byte is composed of 8 bits -so if your speed tells you 8Mbps, you'd have to divide that by 8 to get the MBps equivalent. Unfortunately, Mbps and MBps are used interchangeably nowadays

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