The FCC wants you to download its Speed Test app to measure nationwide internet coverage

Polycount

Posts: 2,850   +575
Staff member
In context: Although US-based internet service providers would have you believe that they provide excellent network coverage to the entire country, that's not quite accurate -- especially not for those in rural areas or other underserved markets. Unfortunately, without any adequate competition in these regions, customers are left with little choice but to accept whatever (often slow) speeds their local provider offers.

That could change in the future, though. Instead of relying on slanted and at times inaccurate internet coverage maps from ISPs, Biden's FCC wants to recruit you -- the end user -- to gather more accurate maps. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel took to Twitter to ask the public to download the official FCC Speed Test App.

By using the app, you'll be sending data back to FCC headquarters. The Commissioners can use these crowdsourced results to gather up-to-date information on both coverage and speeds nationwide. If the FCC finds that certain areas have dramatically lower speeds than others, it can then decide whether or not to allocate additional federal funding to those regions -- hopefully boosting speeds.

"To close the gap between digital haves and have nots, we are working to build a comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability," Rosenworcel said in a statement. "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."

Unfortunately, the FCC Speed Test app is not available for desktop platforms, so if you don't use a smartphone or tablet to access the internet (however unlikely that may be), you probably won't be able to contribute. If you do, though, you can snag the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for iOS and Android, respectively.

The app offers both manual and automated speed tests. The latter is enabled by default and will run "periodic" speed tests in the background, to test things like download and upload speeds, latency, "jitter," and packet loss. You can switch off the automated testing if you'd prefer, and the tests can run over both wi-fi and cellular connections.

Permalink to story.

 

mrvco

Posts: 123   +118
Brilliant. All my speed test would tell them is the speed of my home WiFi network. Does that mean I'll get federal $$$ to buy new Wifi 6 WAPs?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,911   +4,154

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,911   +4,154
So the cretins who planned this are gauging customers' wireless connections.

Unbelievable...
Brilliant. All my speed test would tell them is the speed of my home WiFi network. Does that mean I'll get federal $$$ to buy new Wifi 6 WAPs?
I hope you both understand that your WiFi connection, no matter how blazingly fast it is within your home, cannot, when using an internet speed test, cannot go faster than the connection to the internet that your ISP provides. The theoretical speed on my TP Link Archer A7 AC1750 is 1750 Mbps; however, my FTTH internet connection is only 500 Mbps; therefore, any internet speed test that I do over this router's WiFi will not be able to go faster than 500 Mbps as such internet speed tests test the speed of your internet connection - not your internal WiFi network.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 364   +460
An apology for four years of scr wing the tax payers over would be a good way to start a request for help?
 

Raytrace3D

Posts: 232   +235
This solution only works if the areas served HAVE internet. A bunch of people where I life have no form of internet to speak of because no internet service exists in our area, unless they see a gap in users per capita or something.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,490   +1,087
Lmao, do NOT download this app! As someone who works for a large telecoms company I can assure you we know the capacity of our networks. All this app will do is tell the FCC how good your local WiFi networks are.

I’m genuinely shocked. This will 100% fail to provide any useable data, will cost tax payers loads and invade people’s privacy all in one go.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 201   +134
I hope you both understand that your WiFi connection, no matter how blazingly fast it is within your home, cannot, when using an internet speed test, cannot go faster than the connection to the internet that your ISP provides. The theoretical speed on my TP Link Archer A7 AC1750 is 1750 Mbps; however, my FTTH internet connection is only 500 Mbps; therefore, any internet speed test that I do over this router's WiFi will not be able to go faster than 500 Mbps as such internet speed tests test the speed of your internet connection - not your internal WiFi network.

I hope *you* understand the app does not measure the speed of the internet connection from your ISP to your router. It measures the speed of the wireless connection between your *mobile phone* or *tablet* to your router. Do a test using speednet. Your ethernet connected PC will get a far better result than your mobile. The FCC app is useless unless its sole purpose is to test mobile phone coverage.
 
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duckofdeath

Posts: 364   +460
You will have to ask Trump/the US Senate for that as Trump nominated the commissioner that screwed the consumer, Ajit Pai, and the Senate then confirmed him.

As I mentioned in my post above, Ajit Pai is no longer the FCC Commissioner.
How about we ask the FCC who are so easily turned political and anti-citizen instead? Pretending the last four years didn't happen won't instil any trust. Why should anyone want to help an easily corrupted commission like that?
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,593   +2,196
Anyone else notice that kid in the headline picture? Makes it seem like it could be a horror movie or something.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 299   +431
Man...wish I knew the right people to put me in a position where I don't know what to do so I can f-uck things up and make a $hitload of money. Then turn around and suggest a stupid idea that allows end users think they're "helping" the FCC find a solution.

Stupid me and my properly aligned morals. What the heIl is wrong with me?
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,911   +4,154
I hope *you* understand the app does not measure the speed of the internet connection from your ISP to your router. It measures the speed of the wireless connection between your *mobile phone* or *tablet* to your router. Do a test using speednet. Your ethernet connected PC will get a far better result than your mobile. The FCC app is useless unless its sole purpose is to test mobile phone coverage.
*You* may want to think that the FCC is that stupid, but in order to do what you suggest, "your router" would need to host the source end of the speed test - and unless you have some modded router, no off-the-shelf router has that functionality, AFAIK. If your router does host that, then you must have some special router. Try it yourself - use your phone to go to www.dslreports.com Select Speed Test from the top menu, and run it. Your speed, whether you believe it or not, will be limited to the speed of the current ISP connection, whether a phone network provider, or through your WiFi router at home - which gets its source from your ISP.

EDIT: Anyone can get the speed of a WiFi connection from their phone to a WiFi hot spot by checking the status of the WiFi Connection on the phone. Who needs an app for that?

For your information, I have a 1Gbit wired network at home that is connected to the internet through my 500Mbit FTTH connection. When running an internet speed test, the maximum I get, and can logically expect to get, is 500Mbits/s. Its no different from anyone else.
How about we ask the FCC who are so easily turned political and anti-citizen instead? Pretending the last four years didn't happen won't instil any trust. Why should anyone want to help an easily corrupted commission like that?
Do you honestly think that you are going to get an apology from them for something that the current members could not have exercised control?
The better place to P&M about that is to your members of the senate/congress. The FCC has no control over who gets appointed to regulate rules, and to expect them to have that control just shows, IMO, a lack of understanding of how government works.

Like I said in one of my prior posts, you have Trump/The republican controlled Senate to thank for all the shat that the prior FCC commissioners dumped on us all.

What is the only way things will change? At least the current FCC commissioners are looking for "real data" as opposed to what Ashit Pai was doing with his strings being pulled by his prior industry employers, I.e., the ISPs. Getting real data, you know, hard data based in scientific practices, for their current policy decisions is something that the last administration/FCC could have cared less about. All the last FCC/administration cared about was lining the pockets of the already shat policies of ISPs.
Yeah right, like the FCC is going to do anything. They still haven't even restored Net-Neutrality.
I would not count them out yet. The current commissioner is a known supporter of Net Neutrality. Even if they were to reverse Pai's crap completely, it would be taken to court and take years to resolve. IMO, The best hope for any meaningful change is through congress passing laws.
 
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duckofdeath

Posts: 364   +460
*You* may want to think that the FCC is that stupid, but in order to do what you suggest, "your router" would need to host the source end of the speed test - and unless you have some modded router, no off-the-shelf router has that functionality, AFAIK. If your router does host that, then you must have some special router. Try it yourself - use your phone to go to www.dslreports.com Select Speed Test from the top menu, and run it. Your speed, whether you believe it or not, will be limited to the speed of the current ISP connection, whether a phone network provider, or through your WiFi router at home - which gets its source from your ISP.

EDIT: Anyone can get the speed of a WiFi connection from their phone to a WiFi hot spot by checking the status of the WiFi Connection on the phone. Who needs an app for that?

For your information, I have a 1Gbit wired network at home that is connected to the internet through my 500Mbit FTTH connection. When running an internet speed test, the maximum I get, and can logically expect to get, is 500Mbits/s. Its no different from anyone else.

Do you honestly think that you are going to get an apology from them for something that the current members could not have exercised control?
The better place to P&M about that is to your members of the senate/congress. The FCC has no control over who gets appointed to regulate rules, and to expect them to have that control just shows, IMO, a lack of understanding of how government works.

Like I said in one of my prior posts, you have Trump/The republican controlled Senate to thank for all the shat that the prior FCC commissioners dumped on us all.

What is the only way things will change? At least the current FCC commissioners are looking for "real data" as opposed to what Ashit Pai was doing with his strings being pulled by his prior industry employers, I.e., the ISPs. Getting real data, you know, hard data based in scientific practices, for their current policy decisions is something that the last administration/FCC could have cared less about. All the last FCC/administration cared about was lining the pockets of the already shat policies of ISPs.

I would not count them out yet. The current commissioner is a known supporter of Net Neutrality. Even if they were to reverse Pai's crap completely, it would be taken to court and take years to resolve. IMO, The best hope for any meaningful change is through congress passing laws.
Of course I don't expect them to apologize, that doesn't mean they shouldn't hear, every day, that they are corrupt scumbags.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 116   +112
I hope *you* understand the app does not measure the speed of the internet connection from your ISP to your router. It measures the speed of the wireless connection between your *mobile phone* or *tablet* to your router. Do a test using speednet. Your ethernet connected PC will get a far better result than your mobile. The FCC app is useless unless its sole purpose is to test mobile phone coverage.

Internet Speed Test. It pings a *known server* to upload fluff. Then the server sends some fluff back. The amount of fluff is calculated for the time spent to transfer said fluff, in mbits.
Privacy freaks always freak out over tests like this, especially when there's nothing to be concerned about, fluff bytes are meaningless. The location and speeds are the only way to determine WHERE broadband speeds are slow, ISP's have lied about it for decades.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 916   +357
Internet Speed Test. It pings a *known server* to upload fluff. Then the server sends some fluff back. The amount of fluff is calculated for the time spent to transfer said fluff, in mbits.
Privacy freaks always freak out over tests like this, especially when there's nothing to be concerned about, fluff bytes are meaningless. The location and speeds are the only way to determine WHERE broadband speeds are slow, ISP's have lied about it for decades.
Oh, so the crooks want Joe Schmoe to shine a spotlight on crooks that aren't them. Hehehe. You can't make this stuff up. Politics is almost always a shell game. Put 1 guy in charge as the spokesman, have him execute policies that &$^% the public over until public outrage reaches its peak. Public cries foul so current crook is ousted in favor of a new crook and the masses think it's a victory. Old crook is gone, now we get what we want. It's just replacing the devil we know with the devil we dont....most of the time anyway. But dont expect me to kiss the FCCs *** just because of 1 change in leadership. You want me to help you? Pay me.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 116   +112
Oh, so the crooks want Joe Schmoe to shine a spotlight on crooks that aren't them. Hehehe. You can't make this stuff up. Politics is almost always a shell game. Put 1 guy in charge as the spokesman, have him execute policies that &$^% the public over until public outrage reaches its peak. Public cries foul so current crook is ousted in favor of a new crook and the masses think it's a victory. Old crook is gone, now we get what we want. It's just replacing the devil we know with the devil we dont....most of the time anyway. But dont expect me to kiss the FCCs *** just because of 1 change in leadership. You want me to help you? Pay me.

Paranoid conspiracy word salad. When no one runs the FCC speed test there won't be any new evidence to help enforce ISP clowns to increase speeds.
If people don't want faster internet, don't run the test. Years ago, the government had given telcos and cableco's 18 billion to roll out fast rural access. Telcos laughed when they were fined for not meeting benchmarks. The fines were cheaper than stringing lines, now the money is in their hands so it's probably a GREAT IDEA to let them keep it - just like before.
 
How about start by declaring internet service and "essential service" (like your landline...oh right no one has those any more). That would make a HUGE deal...it's undeniably essential and the ISP providers will fight it tooth and nail because it forces them to be more responsive to outages.