FCC Encourages Americans in Using Their Speed Test App When Diagnosing Internet Speed
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) asked the American public to utilize their app when measuring their home's internet speed. FCC announced it through a press release in their effort to collect comprehensive data on broadband availability across the United States.
It can be remembered that President's Biden is pushing for the infrastructure plan that also aims to expand broadband connectivity across the United States. However, Republicans are still skeptical about it, noting that projects like broadband are out of the infrastructure's vicinity.
FCC on Broadband Connection Data
Apart from collecting data on a broadband connection, FCC also utilized their speed test app in upgrading their broadband maps, according to a Cnet report. The FCC used the maps to figure out how to distribute the billions of funding it offers annually.
"Expanding the base of consumers who use the FCC Speed test app will enable us to provide improved coverage information to the public," said Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel. Rosenworcel also mentioned that the commission is also developing measurement tools that will show where broadband is truly available throughout the United States.
Rosenworcel also highlighted that the commission is working on establishing a "comprehensive user-friendly data set on broadband availability."
FCC's current coverage maps are established from self-reported data from internet service providers (ISP) such as AT&T and Verizon, according to a report from The Verge. FCC's current reporting method counts the entire census block as "served," because these areas encompass miles of territory even though there are cases that not all in the census blocked areas are served. The Verge noted that census block areas allowed ISPs to exaggerate their current broadband coverage, which drawn criticism from advocates of broadband access.
FCC's More Specific Data Gathering
The FCC speed test app works like its speed test competitors from Ookla and Netflix. Once the "start testing" button is pressed, the app will automatically collect and display data. FCC noted on their website that users may be asked to update and reinstall the app and provide additional information and consents for a more precise speed test and location data.
The additional data the commission mentioned refers to asking the public to verify the internet service providers' data on individual addresses. The Americans will be asked to provide their home address to cross-examine or counter-check the information from ISPs. This will determine if the data from ISPs match with the individual reports of broadband connection from home addresses.
The issue of inaccurate maps also got the attention of Republicans and Democrats on the FCC. Both sides agreed that data collection methods must be coarser to provide more accurate data or demographics of broadband's vicinity across the United States.
FCC's app for measuring internet speed can be downloaded in Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices.
READ MORE: Is Your ISP Lying About Your Internet Speed?
WATCH: Do Internet Speed Tests REALLY measure your Internet speed? - from Liron Segev
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