Gathering information on the speed, performance, and coverage of mobile broadband networks is an important endeavor both for consumers and for FCC policymaking. The FCC has various ongoing initiatives related to this effort.
In 2010, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking input on how best to measure mobile broadband performance and coverage. It has since released an RFI (Request for Information) from vendors about their mobile broadband performance measurement and mapping services.
The FCC has also launched a Consumer Broadband Test for fixed broadband connections in order to give consumers more information about the quality of their broadband connections, and to analyze broadband quality and availability. For mobile broadband connections, the FCC has released a free Mobile Broadband Consumer Test app that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store (for Apple iPhone devices) or the Android Market (for mobile devices using the Android platform).
The FCC also collects data on mobile broadband coverage and availability, subscribership, and speeds through its Form 477 Local Competition & Broadband Data collection, and for its annual Mobile Wireless Competition Reports.
An interactive map of broadband deployment across the United States provides consumers, industry, and policymakers with important information about where broadband services at different speeds and using a range of technologies are available.