updated 02:00 am EST, Wed February 26, 2014
Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.
The software is similar in scope and functionality to Ookla's standard test site, speedtest.net, but does not contain ads. The program collects test results and sends anonymized speed and location data to the FCC for aggregate compilation into a national performance "map" of broadband speeds in the US. An Android version was released last fall.
The FCC says that while no personal, unique or persistent identifiers will be associated with the collected data, other "passive" metrics like cell tower locations and GPS data will be stored by the app locally and can be reviewed by the user. The passive metrics will also periodically be sent to the FCC.