As part of the Broadband Data Collection (BDC), the public will have the opportunity to conduct and submit speed tests to confirm whether the mobile coverage reported by providers and shown on the FCC’s National Broadband Map is in fact available in a particular area. Entities – including service providers, state, local, and Tribal governments, as well as other third parties (e.g., consumer groups, non-governmental groups, etc.) – interested in submitting mobile speed tests to challenge the mobile coverage shown on the map may also use the FCC Speed Test App or their own hardware or software to collect mobile speed test data. Any test with a location outside the coverage area of any of the technologies claimed as covered by the applicable service provider will be considered invalid and excluded from further analysis.
Each speed test submitted by an entity using a bulk upload of speed test data collected using hardware and software other than the FCC Speed Test App must conform to the FCC’s most recent data specifications for mobile speed test data, with fields either having a set or range of acceptable values (e.g., positive download speed); included in the metrics is a requirement that entities indicate whether an in-vehicle test was conducted using an external antenna. Any test that does not include all acceptable values set forth in the data specifications will be excluded from further analysis.
Testers must conduct all speed tests between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., local time. Tests will be valid for one year from the test date to ensure the tests are representative of the current state of the provider’s network.
Government and third-party challenges must also be certified by a qualified engineer or official.