FCC Launches Speed Test App for iPhones

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler Tuesday announced that the FCC's iPhone app for testing mobile broadband speeds is now available on the iTunes App Store.

The FCC has had a fixed broadband speed test for several years via the Measuring Broadband America program, with the cooperation of major ISPs. It began the move to measuring mobile as well with the launch of an Android phone speed test last fall, signaling an iPhone app would be coming soon. The FCC signaled it would have national numbers in first quarter 2014 and would provide more granular results later in the year.

CTIA: The Wireless Association and its members have been cooperating with the creation of the mobile app.

Unlike the Android app, the iPhone app does not run in the background and periodically spot check speeds, but a manual check will generate an "on-demand" accounting of cellular and Wi-Fi network "download speed, latency, and packet loss."

The FCC says no personal or uniquely identifiable info is collected by the apps. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.