FCC Speed Test App

New to the speedtest mobile application world is an updated FCC Speed Test app, version 4.  

Having recently used several mobile apps including speed test apps by Ookla and VeeApps; I like the FCC Speed Test app because of the flexibility of WiFi or mobile carrier analysis with data visualization functionality including charts, maps, and mobile data.

See a demo of using the app to measure an internet speed sample of a cell carrier at https://youtu.be/7mZMzfo2DkA

According to the Apple App store’s version history for version 4.1.1 updated a week ago:

  • A new map feature allows you to view test results geographical, and compare performance between different locations.
  • The new FCC Speed Test App replaces the legacy version.  If you had installed prior versions of this app and wish to retain data obtained by these earlier versions the data needs to be exported and downloaded from your device before installing the new app.  Data from the legacy app will not be transferred to the new app.  

The information below is directly copied from the ‘More’ > ‘About’ in the App.

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About the FCC Speed Test App

The Measuring Broadband America (MBA) program is an ongoing, rigorous nationwide study of consumer broadband performance in the United States that developed out of a recommendation in the National Broadband Plan to improve the availability of information for consumers about their broadband service. In September 2012, the FCC announced it was expanding the MBA program to include information on mobile broadband service performance in the United States. The program uses the FCC Speed Test app for Android and iOS devices to test the performance of volunteers’ smartphone mobile broadband services. Broadband performance data is being collected that includes upload and download speed, latency, packet loss and jitter, as well as the wireless performance characteristics of the broadband connection and the model of handsets and versions of operating systems tested.

Test Suite

Download Speed: Incoming throughput in megabits per second (Mbps) utilizing three concurrent Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections

Upload Speed: Outgoing throughput in megabits per second (Mbps) utilizing three concurrent Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections

UDP Latency: Average round trip time of a series of randomly transmitted User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets distributed over a long timeframe

UDP Packet Loss: Fraction of UDP packets lost during UDP latency test

UDP Jitter: Mean round trip time (RTT) of UDP echo requests in microseconds from the app to a target test node

How it Works

The FCC Speed Test app is available for Android phones from Google Play and for iOS from the Apple App Store. The application will measure mobile broadband performance in five active categories: download speed, upload speed, latency, packet loss and jitter. To better analyze wireless broadband performance, several other passive metrics are recorded, such as signal strength of the connection, and device manufacturer and model. The application tests run periodically in the background for android devices.

Data Usage

By default the Application is configured to use no more than 100 megabytes (MB) of data each month for automated testing. Any additional tests you initiate will also consume between 100 kB for the smallest packet loss test and 600 MB for the fastest 5G networks for a complete suite of tests. At any time you can change the amount of data the Application uses by increasing or reducing the “mobile data cap” in the settings menu. You should ensure that your monthly broadband usage, including the data used by the Application and Service during the Program, does not exceed the data allowance included in your mobile broadband package. Your carrier may charge you for any data used in excess of your package’s data allowance. While the tests are engineered not to interfere with a user’s broadband Internet use, the application can also be configured not to perform any automated background testing.

Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing

We encourage volunteers with Android phones to use automated testing. The FCC Speed Test app automated testing function can be disabled and the app can be configured to start a test only when manually executed. iOS devices do not have automated testing capability and can only execute the speed test manually. It should be noted that manual testing can lead to biased results when performed only at specific times or places, and may provide a less accurate picture of overall broadband performance. Automatic background tests contribute more-valuable, high-quality data that help inform our reports and provide the most accurate data about mobile broadband performance.

Finding More About the Technical Details More detail about the technology behind the app can be found in the Mobile Broadband Methodology Technical Summary.

Data Visualization Tools

The FCC is committed to providing exciting and useful ways to understand the mobile broadband performance data collected. Subject to the efforts the FCC takes to protect the privacy of volunteers, results will be presented in a variety of dynamic ways to analyze broadband performance.

Privacy Policy

The FCC has taken significant measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of volunteers for this program. All data is collected anonymously, and no personally-identifiable information is collected. Using privacy measures developed and reviewed by officials at the US Federal Trade Commission and academic privacy experts, any data that could potentially identify specific smartphones is analyzed and processed to ensure that subscribers’ privacy interests are protected. The FCC is committed to ensuring that only network data is collected. See our Mobile Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy for details.

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Download the FCC Speedtest App

The FCC Speedtest App is available for both Apple and Android devices in their appropriate app store:

App Navigation

Bottom buttons include:

  • Test 
  • Charts by Data Source, Date range.  Fields include ‘Average Download’ and the history of your speed tests
  • Maps – dynamic map where you can select a pin to view the results by location, ID #
  • Mobile data – notification of mobile data use, mobile data limits, data usage this month, total data usage
  • More
    • Test definitions
    • Data export ALL or a Range to a JSON file, Save to Files, Email
    • Privacy policy
      • What Information We Collect
        • Location
        • Time of Data Collection
        • Device Type and Operating System Version
        • Cellular Performance and Characteristics
        • Broadband Performance
      • Data Sharing
        • Internally
        • Third-Party Partners
      • Data Consumption
      • Other Terms of Use
    • About (the text information inserted above)
    • Contact us form
    • Version information

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Also See

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Support WNC Broadband Advocacy

Data provides objective decisions for engineers, local, city, county, state, federal, employees for ISPs to effectively improve broadband in WNC.  

Please support broadband advocacy in the US by taking speed tests.  

More data points lead to better decisions.

FCC Speed Test App FAQs