WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission has released its first smartphone app, a free program that allows consumers to measure the broadband speed they are getting on their mobile devices and to determine whether it is as fast as wireless companies say.
So far, the app works only on smartphones that run the Android operating system, but the commission is working on an iPhone version, which it expects to be ready by the end of January. The app provides information on upload and download speeds and on how efficiently data is transmitted, a measure known as packet loss.
The app, FCC Speed Test, also will allow the commission to aggregate data about broadband speeds from consumers across the country. It will use the data to create an interactive map, giving consumers a tool to use in comparison shopping rather than relying on wireless companies' promises.