How to Use the New FCC Mobile Speed Test App to Challenge Mobile Coverage

The National Broadband Map shows the 3G, 4G, and 5G coverage areas reported by each mobile wireless service provider. These maps reflect where subscribers should be able to receive mobile connectivity when outdoors or in a moving vehicle; the maps do not display indoor coverage.

If the information on mobile coverage submitted by your provider doesn’t match your experience, you can dispute that information by taking outdoor or in-vehicle speed tests on your mobile device using the FCC Mobile Speed Test app. Challenge Speed tests must be taken between the hours of 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m., local time, and may not be taken indoors.

The FCC uses Speed Test results to verify the accuracy and reliability of the mobile broadband coverage data that providers must submit to the FCC and are published on the National Broadband Map. Challenge Speed Test results  are analyzed and aggregated each month to determine whether there is a pattern of speed tests from the same area that meets the FCC’s threshold for creating a challenge and requiring a provider response.

Download the new FCC Mobile Speed Test app on your iOS or Android device.

Please ensure you download the new FCC Mobile Speed Test app. While the FCC will still accept challenge speed tests run on the original FCC Speed Test app in the near-term,  the Original App version will no longer be supported in mid-2024.

Challenge speed tests are used to dispute or challenge mobile broadband coverage as shown on the National Broadband Map, and therefore must be run on the mobile network, not over Wi-Fi.

Your speed tests are aggregated with other speed tests taken in a similar geographic area.  Once a group of speed tests that show speeds below those reported by a provider in that area meets certain thresholds, a challenge will be created, which is sent to the provider for a response.  If your speed test results are part of a challenge sent to a provider, you will receive  emails with updates on the status of the challenge.

Using the FCC Mobile Speed Test App

  1. Download the FCC Speed Test app to your device and open the app.
  2. Grant the app location permissions in order to run  tests.
  3. You will receive a pop-up alert that running speed tests will count toward your monthly mobile data usage.
    •  You can  set a data usage limit for the app and the day of the month this limit resets, by going to the app Settings -- The default setting is 1 GB, but you can change it any time.
    • If you do not wish to change the usage limit, you can just close the pop-up alert.
  4. To run a challenge test you must enter your name, email address, and the mobile phone number of the device you are using for the test. When running future challenge tests, you only need to confirm that your information has not changed.
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  5. On the opening screen tap Challenge, then Start Test.
    start-screen.png
  6. Confirm that you are using mobile data, that you are a subscriber or authorized user of the challenged provider, and that your device and speed test app are functioning normally, to the best of your knowledge.
  7. Specify where the test is being run—Indoor, Outdoor, or In-Vehicle. 

    Note: Only tests taken in Outdoor and In-Vehicle modes can be a Challenge Test.  (If you select the indoor option, the test will not be considered a Challenge Test.) 
    choose-location.png

    Once you select the environment, the speed test will begin.  
    challenge-test-screen.png

  8. You will be prompted to turn off airplane mode, turn on location services, and confirm WiFi is turned off and cellular data is turned on to start the test.
  9. After completing a test, your results will be automatically submitted to the FCC.
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  10. Test results will show upon test completion and will be accessible in your “History.”  You can share the results with others directly from the app and can also perform another challenge test.

To Run a “Repeated” Test

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above.
  2. On the opening screen, click the drop down arrow next to “Challenge” / “Crowdsource” and select “Repeated Test.”
    repeated_test.png
  3. Input your desired test count (number of tests to be run), interval between tests (time after the test has ended before the next test begins), and maximum duration (how long the repeated tests will automatically run).
  4. Confirm that you are using mobile data, that you are a subscriber or authorized user of the challenged provider, and that your device and speed test app are functioning normally, to the best of your knowledge.
  5. Specify where the test is being run—Indoor, Outdoor, or In-Vehicle. 
  6. Note: Only tests taken in Outdoor and In-Vehicle modes can be a Challenge Test.  (If you select the indoor option, the test will not be considered a Challenge Test.) Make sure you will be in the same type of environment for the duration you selected for your repeated tests.
  7. Once you select the environment, the speed test will begin.  
  8. You will be prompted to turn off airplane mode, turn on location services, and confirm WiFi is turned off and cellular data is turned on to start the test.

Learn more about what happens when you submit mobile challenges:

The FCC Speed Test app can also perform speed tests to measure the performance of a mobile or Wi-Fi connection. If a user agrees to share their contact information, Speed Tests performed over a mobile (3G, 4G, or 5G) connection will be automatically submitted to the FCC, to help verify the accuracy of the mobile broadband coverage maps filed by providers. You can opt-out of data sharing at any time.

Find out more about the FCC’s mobile speed test app:

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