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FCC Offers Data Speed Test App to Help Keep Carriers Honest

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Speaking of the FCC, it looks like they are really doing great things to protect consumer rights lately. Not only are they currently working to make sure phones can be carrier unlocked by consumers, they also just released a cool app which allows consumers to test the data speeds of their smartphone. It is designed to help keep your carrier honest so they can't claim overly inflated download speeds for their network. Not only that, but this app also collects data from everyone who uses the app. This database will eventually cull enough data to show which carriers offer the fastest speeds and most consistent service throughout the country.

    This is a similar app to the one they offered in 2011 for fixed broadband services. That one is meant to compare the advertised speeds of ISPs and compare them to what they actually deliver. You can download this new mobile based version from the Google Play Store at the source link below.

    Source: Google Play Store - FCC Speed Test App
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  2. wicked
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    wicked Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Going to download. Thanks for sharing David! :big smile:
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  3. jkaod
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    jkaod Active Member

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    Just downloaded it and tried it. Very similar results to Speed Test app.
    FCC app: 11.34 Mbps down and 5.43 mbps up latency 53ms
    Speed Test: 12.34 down and 5.50 up latency 57ms
    I'm all for the FCC trying to keep carriers honest, but so much of the speed depends on where you are. If I test my phone 100 feet from here it will be different so I don't know how anyone can really compare numbers unless done on various phones from the different carriers at the exact same locations.
  4. gadgetrants
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    gadgetrants Well-Known Member

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    In the ideal world, at least, the FCC will be getting an enormous sample, where they know the precise tower location and the signal strength for each data point submitted. Wouldn't surprise if me if they also pick up phone specs as well, which can be used to qualify signal readings. If (for example) they managed to get say 20K or 30K samples on a single metropolitan area like SF or NY, that would be a pretty solid estimate for carrier reliability, pooling across city locations, phones, and all the other random factors (e.g., time of day, carrier load, inside vs. outside sample, etc.). The catch is whether enough people will actually download the app (and how often it samples in the background). Unfortunately, odd things may happen, like more people from Verizon than TMo, more iPhone users on AT&T than on Sprint, etc. that will make the cross-carrier comparisons more challenging!

    -Matt
  5. GotnFX
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    GotnFX Active Member

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    I am getting different results between the 2 apps. FCC Average 7.66 down and 4.10 up..lat 90ms. Speed app average 1.5 and 3...lat 125. Both were done one right after another..not sure which is right.. Lol.
  6. acousticshade
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    acousticshade New Member

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    The Open signal app has been doing the same thing for awhile now & they sell their information back to the phone companies in order to keep the app going.
  7. NOVICE
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    NOVICE Active Member

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    FCC app is great step forward and I almost consider it a requirement of good citizenship to install on my device.

    I have Verizon Note 3 and am averaging download of between between 5 and 16 Mbps. Worse times are early morning and middle afternoon.
  8. Mark_V
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    Mark_V New Member

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    This is on my home WiFi.

    Speed test app 33 down and 14 up.

    FCC app 49 down and 12 up.

    Ran both tests 3 times with similar results.
  9. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    The difference in speeds between the apps could be the servers they are connecting to for the data transfer. I know on Speedtest, the server I connect to is 15 miles away. Before that server went online, the closest server was over 100 miles away.

    I installed it as I test my speeds all the time for my own personal "in the know".
  10. xeene
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    xeene Well-Known Member

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    My wifi results with fcc and speedtest apps were identical every time. Lte results varied by the server it connected with.

    Also, make sure you go into settings and disable background testing or the app will be running tests on its own killing your battery and data plan.
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  11. hradek422
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    hradek422 Member

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    So I downloaded this, just because it does analyze more data than just Download and Upload speeds. Verizon has been terrible in my area lately, for absolutely no reason. They used to have the absolute best coverage in my city. I would never hit a dead zone. Lately though, I've been having trouble just hitting 4G, let alone getting the 16 meg + speeds that I used to get. Maybe I can take this to Verizon and actually have them acknowledge that something is up in my area.
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  12. Jackseric
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    Jackseric New Member

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    I too have been having terrible coverage in my area lately. In my own home, I can barely, if ever, get service. More often than not, I have to go outside to get decent signal, while one of my friends gets AT&T inside my home just fine. I switched to Verizon because it was so much better than AT&T but that certainly has not been the case as of late.
  13. Jackseric
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    Jackseric New Member

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    Disparaging difference between apps

    So I too had to dl the app to compare. Big difference for me. I kept the phone in the same position, and tested first with FCC Speed Test app, the Ookla's Speedtest app. Seems like a huge difference to me. Makes me wonder if Verizon might be capping normal service around 15M but possibly not capping at all for data from the FCC's test server? Is that even possible? I've seen big numbers in big cities like Chicago, but in the Central Ohio area, I've never seen higher than 18M. Today the FCC says 30M and Ookla says 12.3M.


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