The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), long criticized for its outdated network coverage maps in the US, has decided, under the new leadership of Jessica Rosenworcel, to do something about it if it wants to be an impartial judge in the US Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T claim the “best network” game.
However, the FCC has a government budget and must choose their battles. Hence, she chose the crowdsourcing route to test your fixed or mobile broadband connection. The initiative is actually part of the broader Measuring Broadband America (MBA) program. The FCC Speed Test app measures the following under your volunteer participation:
- Download speed: Inbound throughput in megabits per second (Mbit / s) using three simultaneous TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) connections
- Upload speed: Outbound throughput in megabits per second (Mbit / s) using three simultaneous TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) connections
- UDP latency: Average round trip time of a series of randomly transmitted UDP (User Datagram Protocol) packets spread over a long period of time
- UDP packet loss: Percentage of UDP packets that were lost during the UDP latency test
- UDP jitter: Average round trip time (RTT) of UDP echo requests in microseconds from the app to a target test node