The FCC Speed Test App works similarly to existing speed-testing apps like Ookla’s and Fast by Netflix, automatically collecting and displaying data once users press the “start testing” button. According to the FCC, the data collected through the app will inform the agency’s efforts to collect more accurate broadband speed information and aid its broadband deployment efforts.
“To close the gap between digital haves and have nots, we are working to build a comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability,” Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement Monday. “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.”
The app is part of the agency’s broader efforts to collect more accurate broadband speed data across the country. The FCC’s current coverage maps are built from self-reported data from internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon. In doing so, the process has allowed ISPs to exaggerate their current coverage, drawing heated criticism from broadband access advocates.
Earlier this year, the FCC asked the public to fact-check ISP data by entering in their address in the current broadband maps and submitting a form here if the information described is incorrect.