Friday, March 12, 2010

FCC Releases Consumer Broadband Tests

The FCC released two applications -- the Consumer Broadband Test and the Broadband Dead Zone Report -- that allow consumers to test their broadband service and report areas where broadband is not available.

The Consumer Broadband Test measures broadband quality indicators such as speed and latency, and reports that information to consumers and the FCC. The mobile version -- the FCC's first mobile app -- is available through the Apple and Android app stores. The fixed version is available at

The Broadband Dead Zone Report enables Americans to submit the street address location of a broadband"Dead Zone" where broadband is unavailable for purchase. The Broadband Dead Zone Report form is available on Consumers can also submit availability information by e-mail to Those who lack online access can call the FCC.

The FCC apps are using the Ookla, Inc. Speed Test and the Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT) running on the
Measurement Lab (M-Lab) platform. In the future, the FCC anticipates making additional broadband testing applications available for consumer use, but said it does not endorse any specific testing application.

"Transparency empowers consumers, promotes innovation and investment, and encourages competition," said Chairman Julius Genachowski. "The FCC's new digital tools will arm users with real-time information about their broadband connection and the agency with useful data about service across the country. By informing consumers about their broadband service quality, these tools help eliminate confusion and make the market work more effectively."http://www.fcc.gov