The FCC wants to know how fast your internet connection is2021-04-13 18:00 by Daniela
The Federal Communications Commission is asking more Americans to use its speed test app to help improve the accuracy of its broadband speeds throughout the US. The tool is being used as part of a larger effort at the agency to improve its maps to get a clearer picture of broadband in America.
The FCC's official speed test app is live on the App Store, allowing customers to test the performance of their in-home and mobile broadband networks. The app, called "FCC Speed Test," will show users their network performance test results, which they can directly compare against what their ISP says they should get. In addition to the test results, the app also sends the results to the FCC as part of its Measuring Broadband America Program.
"To close the gap between digital haves and have nots, we are working to build a comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability," Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement today. "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 accuracy of the FCC's coverage maps has been a well-known issue for years, with a 2019 study from Microsoft finding that approximately 163 million people weren't accessing the internet at or above broadband speeds. That's compared to the 25 million the agency estimated at the time. The current maps mostly feature data directly from ISPs like Comcast and Verizon (the owner of Engadget's parent company, Verizon Media), which has been led to the problem in the first place.
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