How to test your internet and contribute to measure America's broadband

The FCC is working on creating an updated US map of broadband service to help decide where future infrastructure investment should happen and more. Read along for how to test your internet speed and contribute to the “Measuring Broadband America Program.”

The lack of fast and affordable internet access is a serious issue in the US as many small towns and rural areas are far behind the curve. There is a new Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act that’s been proposed which Congress could vote on this year. It includes $94 billion in funding to expand nationwide internet access, but a big part of the issue is having a clear picture for all the places that need investment.

The FCC put out a press release and tweeted today about its speed test app that doubles as a way to participate in the “Measuring Broadband America Program.”

“To close the gap between digital haves and have nots, we are working to build a comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability. Expanding the base of consumers who use the FCC Speed Test app will enable us to provide improved coverage information to the public and add to the measurement tools we’re developing to show where broadband is truly available throughout the United States,” said Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel.

How to test internet speed and contribute to the “Measuring Broadband America Program”

  • Download the FCC Speed Test for iOS from the App Store (Android too)
  • If testing mobile internet, you can limit the app’s data use
  • Tap “Start Testing” at the bottom
  • You can pick if you’d like to allow location services once or every time you use the app
    • You can also tap “Precise” in the top-left corner of the map to make location data general
    • If you deny location services, you can still run speed tests, but the app asks you to turn it on to help with the mapping program
  • That’s it, you’ve helped contribute to the program!

If you have a specific complaint to share about the home or mobile broadband available in your area, you can fill that out on the FCC’s website here.

Other popular options include Ookla’s Speedtest and the speed test tool you can quickly access by typing “speed test” into a Google search.

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.