FCC Launches Broadband Consumer Tools

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Agency Introduces First Mobile App, Consumer Broadband Test, and Broadband Dead Zone Report

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission launched new digital tools -- the Consumer Broadband Test and the Broadband Dead Zone Report -- that allow consumers to test their broadband service and report areas where broadband is not available.

"Transparency empowers consumers, promotes innovation and investment, and encourages competition," said Chairman Julius Genachowski. "The FCC's new digital tools will arm users with real-time information about their broadband connection and the agency with useful data about service across the country. By informing consumers about their broadband service quality, these tools help eliminate confusion and make the market work more effectively."

The Consumer Broadband Test measures broadband quality indicators such as speed and latency, and reports that information to consumers and the FCC. The mobile version -- the FCC's first mobile app -- is available through the Apple and Android app stores. The fixed version is available at

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Two popular broadband testing tools are used in this beta version -- the Ookla, Inc. Speed Test and the Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT) running on the Measurement Lab (M-Lab) platform. In the future, the FCC anticipates making additional broadband testing applications available for consumer use. The Commission does not endorse any specific testing application.

The Broadband Dead Zone Report enables Americans to submit the street address location of a broadband "Dead Zone" where broadband is unavailable for purchase. The Broadband Dead Zone Report form is available on

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Consumers can also submit availability information by e-mail to snipped-for-privacy@fcc.gov. Those who lack online access can call the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC (TTY:

1-888-TELL-FCC), send a fax to 1-877-627-7460, or mail the information to:

Federal Communications Commission Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau ATTN: Broadband Dead Zone Reporting

445 12th Street, SW Washington, D.C. 20554

These tools help the FCC gather data to analyze broadband performance and availability on a geographic basis across the United States. Use of the tools is voluntary. The FCC is committed to protecting the personal privacy of consumers utilizing these tools, and will not publicly release any individual personal information gathered. For more information on privacy considerations please visit

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The National Broadband Plan, which will be unveiled next week, also contains a series of recommendations aimed at helping consumers understand the gap between actual broadband speeds delivered and the maximum speed tiers advertised. Working recommendations include a scientific third-party study on actual broadband performance, a working group to help inform standards for broadband speeds, and further proposals on disclosure needs for fixed broadband services, such as a "digital label." These proposals will further the goals of disclosure and transparency and empower consumers to drive competition in a technology-neutral manner.

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Monty Solomon
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