What to Expect after Filing a Mobile Challenge

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

If you want to test the accuracy of the coverage and speed information shown on the map, you can download the FCC Speed Test App on your iOS or Android device and start taking speed tests.  The results of those tests will be automatically sent to the FCC and you can also specify that the results be used to dispute a mobile service provider’s claimed coverage on the map. Challenge Speed Tests may not be taken indoors, they must be taken outdoors or in a moving vehicle.  Speed tests conducted indoors are not valid challenges and may result in the challenge being overturned.

How do I run a Challenge Speed Test?

Open the app, then:

  • Choose the Challenge Speed Test mode to challenge your provider’s mobile coverage as shown on the National Broadband Map.
  • Provide your contact info, which will be shared with the FCC and, if a pattern of speed tests from the same area meets certain thresholds, will be sent by the FCC to the provider for response.
  • Confirm and certify that you are taking the test under the described conditions.
  • Indicate whether you are taking the test while outdoors and stationary, or in a vehicle and moving. Challenge Speed Tests cannot be taken indoors.
  • Run the test (be sure that you are not using a Wi-Fi network; the app will require you to turn off Wi-Fi before initiating the Challenge Speed Test).
  • View your speed test results. The results will be submitted to the FCC automatically.

Learn how to run a challenge speed test using the app: https://help.bdc.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/10468786141723-How-to-Use-the-FCC-Speed-Test-App-to-Challenge-Mobile-Coverage

What Happens to My Speed Test?

Once a speed test has been submitted, it will be checked to ensure that it was taken within the provider’s claimed coverage area and between the hours of 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.  These validated speed tests will then be grouped together and analyzed.  Once there are enough “failed” tests (those showing speeds below 5/1 Mbps for 4G, or 7/1 or 35/3 Mbps for 5G) within a certain area and at different times of day, a challenge will be created, which will require a response from the provider.

Testers will be notified monthly about the status of their speed test(s), including whether a challenge based on one or more of their speed tests has been sent to their provider and if so, they will also be notified if and when the challenge results in a change in the coverage maps.

Individual speed tests will be valid for one year and, until there are enough speed tests to create a challenge, they will be considered “crowdsource” data and may be used to verify the accuracy and reliability of the mobile broadband coverage data that providers must submit to the FCC.

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










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