FCC Has The Need for Speed (on Mobile)

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the launch of the FCC Speed Test app for iOS devices in the iTunes …

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FCC Has The Need for Speed (on Mobile)At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the launch of the FCC Speed Test app for iOS devices in the iTunes App Store.

It’s billed as effective way to clock your mobile Internet speed, providing important feedback to the FCC in the process.

The FCC says its Speed Test app is an expansion of the Measuring Broadband America program from fixed to mobile broadband.

The Measuring Broadband America program, which has released three reports on fixed broadband networks, is a private-public partnership designed to bring greater clarity and competition to the broadband service marketplace. Testing data will provide valuable information to consumers, industry, and the Commission on the deployment of networks across the United States.

“The iOS release is the latest step in the Commission’s efforts to crowdsource mobile broadband performance data for the mobile Measuring Broadband America program,” a statement from the FCC reads. “Unlike the Android app, the iOS app cannot run periodically in the background. However, volunteers can test their cellular and Wi-Fi network performance manually to receive an on-demand view of upload and download speed, latency, and packet loss.”

The FCC was careful to note that no personal or uniquely identifiable information is collected.

To get the app, click here.

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    The cost factor will be a major determinant in the participation of users. This is where sponsored data will be playing its role in this type of crowd source-based initiatives. FCC, in collaboration with Mobile Network Operators can offer free quota or zero priced rates on the use of the application, spurring higher number of downloads of the app which will track and report the performance in the background, without the user having to worry about incurring any overheads, especially for users on limited quota-based packages where 100Mb/month is still a considerable chunk of their monthly allowance. http://www.policychargingcontrol.com