If you’ve mourned the loss of some of the free user-generated speed test maps throughout the past few years, mourn a little less now as the FCC has released a speed test app that will not only let you know what your performance is, but also let the government agency know where cell service is falling woefully behind for their Measuring Broadband America program.
It’s not really a secret that carriers have a history of just making up garbage maps to sell service, but it’s been a pretty tough time proving that their maps were fake up until recently.
This app is pretty much only useful for people who have unlimited data – I’ll stress that. Unless you’re wanting to blow out a data cap. You can set limits on how much you want to contribute, or if you want to contribute in the background, but yeah. I’d only trust it on unlimited.
While speed tests are nothing new, I have found that the FCC’s speed test app has found me some extremely good service areas I had never considered.
I found I was getting nearly 300mbit on T-Mobile in a park the other day. That was impressive considering I spent a large chunk of time in that park while Sprint had screwed up connections over EDGE speeds with a busted LTE update that downed my Note 8.
Anyway, you can grab the FCC Speed Test app and participate in reporting on your cell phone carrier’s network over at Google Play or the App Store. I’ve only used the Android app so the iOS may be a bit different.
I don’t see a way to access a compiled map yet, which would be extremely useful. Only my own data, which has been enlightening. I’ve found T-Mobile’s capable of some low quality 4K streaming in most of the areas I’m in, and also that my dad’s house is still as bad as it ever was.