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.