While bulk mobile challenge and crowdsource data are similar in many ways, there are some key differences. Mobile challenge data are submitted to formally dispute a mobile service provider’s coverage, as reported to the FCC and published on the National Broadband Map, while mobile crowdsource data are used to inform the FCC’s broader understanding of mobile data coverage. Given the differences in how the data are treated by the FCC, a bulk mobile crowdsource data submission may contain less information than a bulk mobile challenge data submission.
Both types of submission must follow the data specifications set forth in the mobile speed test data specification. Bulk crowdsource and challenge data must include records of both mobile speed tests and other mobile measurements, such as latency and signal strength. However, while an entity submitting speed tests for a mobile challenge must include both download and upload speeds, crowdsource data submissions need include only download or upload speed (though may also include both).
When a mobile challenge has been created, the provider that is the subject of the challenge will be notified. Providers then have 60 days to respond to the challenge. A provider is also notified when mobile crowdsource data are submitted about its coverage data, but the provider is not obligated to respond.