The FCC is Using an App to Fix Internet Inequality
Connectivity to high-speed, broadband Internet has quickly transitioned from a convenient luxury to a practical need for personal life and business alike. Considering this, it seems amazing that Internet access isn’t nearly as equally distributed as the need for it is. However, the Federal Communications Commission is calling on the public to help them change that by downloading an application that they first released in 2013: FCC Speed Test.
Is Broadband Accessibility So Important?
Look at it this way: how much do you do every day that requires some form of Internet connectivity? Between shopping, consuming entertainment, keeping in touch with people, and (as we tend to focus on) working remotely, it’s becoming rare that something doesn’t involve Internet access nowadays.
However, while this is the reality for many, just as many don’t have the opportunity to take advantage of the Internet for much at all, simply due to the lack of broadband connectivity in their region. To try and correct this, the FCC has taken action, reinvigorating their Speed Test application and campaigning for people to install it.
What Does FCC Speed Test Do?
Assuming that enough people put the application to use, the FCC can use the app to collect data specifically concerning the quality of Internet services in different areas. Once this data is compiled, it will help inform them where the most pressing investments need to be made and their available funds divided up accordingly.
By analyzing a Wi-Fi or mobile network’s baselines, including its upload speeds, download speeds, and latency, the app helps collect reliable data directly from the source: the networks being evaluated. While these evaluations run once every 24 hours by default, their schedule and data usage can be adjusted to fit your needs.
The app will also test connection speeds, giving users a visual representation of where they stood at different times and in different locations. While FCC Speed Test does collect some data (including location, IP address, device type, operating system, and ISP) none of it is personally identifiable to the user.
Hopefully, these kinds of actions will bring a more accessible Internet to those areas lacking it, helping businesses and individual users alike. What do you think about these efforts? Is this an app you’d be willing to download? Share your thoughts in the comments!