With the rise in smart phones (particularly on the Android platform) it makes sense to have an app to test, either deliberately or by having it run in the background, the speed, latency and packet loss (among others) that your mobile broadband connection offers. The FCC has done just that. With the hope of having a large number of people in the United States downloading and running the app multiple times a day, that will normalize anomalies, the NY Times also reports that it 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.
LIRNEasia’s sister organisation Research ICT Africa (RIA) is also using a similar app developed by Georgia Tech called MySpeedNet. Such apps are limited in that they rely on user participation to download the app and run tests. RIA is offering a prize to incentivize use.