Rural Speed TestSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

Depending on which cellular carrier you use and the infrastructure in your area, LTE and 5G mobile broadband speeds can vary wildly across the United States. As consumers, there is not much we can do about it, save for complaining to the mobile companies and our elected officials. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is interested in getting a better picture of mobile broadband coverage in the U.S. and is asking people to use its speed test app to help us, and them, learn more about the different speeds available across the country. The idea is that the information collected will help push to improve coverage for all citizens.

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This isn't the first speed test app ever released, but it does aim to serve a greater purpose than just letting you know if you can download that game or stream that movie. The app has been a popular discussion topic on the AC forums recently:

belodion
belodion

An interesting and useful app, free and without ads, not available in my country, but available on Android and iOS in the Land of the Free. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samknows.fcc

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B. Diddy
B. Diddy

I installed it!

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Mooncatt
Mooncatt

I tried it, and I think I'll stick with Ookla's Speedtest app. The FCC app is just plain Jane and doesn't allow you to view any coverage maps like you can with Speedtest. The FCC app does have the option to automatically scan in the background and report results back to the FCC to verify provider claims, but that's not a real concern for me.

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B. Diddy
B. Diddy

I think they're hoping the coverage maps improve over time as more people use it. It's true that it's pretty plain, but I'm using it more for the benefit of improving overall broadband. If I want to check speeds, I typically just use Netflix's Fast.com site, or the speed test that's built into the Google app (for which they partner with M-Lab).

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We want to hear from you — Have you tried the FCC Speed Test app? If so, have you learned anything interesting about your mobile broadband speeds since using it? Let us know!

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