The US FCC has launched a new app that lets users measure their internet speed (both mobile and broadband), while the collected data will allow the regulatory body to get a better grip of broadband availability situation across the country. Unimaginatively named FCC Speed Test, the app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The goal is to collect crowdsourced data on broadband network performance in the United States as part of its Measuring Broadband America Program.
The FCC Speed Test app lets you measure metrics such as uplink and downlink speeds, latency, packet loss, and jitters. FCC says that if you download the app and provide the necessary internet speed data from your location, you will be contributing towards closing the digital divide. And if you feel that the cause is worth it, you can go ahead and describe in length how good (or bad) your internet service is, and submit it on the Broadband Data Task Force center.
Expanding the base of consumers who use the FCC Speed Test app will enable us to provide improved coverage information to the public and add to the measurement tools we’re developing to show where broadband is truly available throughout the United States.”
– Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel.
But do keep in mind it is just your feedback, and doesn’t equate to an actionable consumer complaint. For that FCC has a dedicated Consumer Complaint Center where you can vent your frustration about the pathetic internet service you’re forced to live and work with. The core goal of launching the speed test app, however, is to gather precise, accurate, and up-to-date broadband mapping data. Those who volunteer to participate in FCC’s efforts may be asked to share more data by installing an updated version of the app in the near future.
However, FCC assures that its speed test app doesn’t collect any personally identifiable information. Upon installing the app, it schedules automatic background test runs, but you can prohibit permission to run speed tests over a cellular network to save mobile data. The official press release also mentions that the data submitted by users will be analyzed against what carriers and service providers furnish before FCC and use in their marketing material.
We are expecting the new Google Pixel 5, and the 5G enabled Pixel 4a to launch by the end of this month, and it seems that Google is getting everything ready to have its devices ready. Both of them have passed by the FCC this morning, and they reveal some interesting details.
The new Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G has recently passed through the FCC. The devices have presented lots of variants, and we have them all listed here. The Pixel 4a appears with G025H, and G025I model numbers, since the original Pixel 4a is the A4R G025J, which would arrive with the same plastic body, 6GB RAM, and a headphone jack as the regular Pixel 4a. The differences will be found in 5G connectivity, a larger punch-hole display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, and a dual-camera setup, including a regular and a wide-angle camera lens.
The Google Pixel 5 devices come in two 5G flavors; the first one will only have Sub-6 5G connectivity with model numbers GTT9Q and G5NZ6; the second one is only for Japan, while the GD1YQ and G6QU3 would also include mmWave 5G support. The Pixel 5 is also supposed to come with 8GB RAM, a 4,000mAh battery WTP, or wireless power transfer to charge accessories, but unfortunately, no audio jack.
“FCC ID: A4RGD1YQ (original model) and FCC ID: A4RGTT9Q (variant model) are HW identical except components depopulated for Part 30 mmWave. Other than this item, the RF and antenna design is the same.”
The new Samsung Galaxy Buds X are rumored to launch on July 22. This would mean that we could see these wireless earbuds launch alongside the new Galaxy Watch3, and it makes sense. We are less than two weeks away from this possible launch date, and the FCC has already certified the Galaxy Buds X. This certification provides certain details about the Buds X. It seems that they will measure approximately 26 x 15 x 14 mm and weight about 5G. They will also have a design that resembles a bean.
Making things even more difficult for HUAWEI and fellow Chinese company ZTE, the US Federal Communications Commission (US FCC) has designated the two as threats to national security. Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement that the action has been taken in view of evidence that the two companies are a threat to the country’s communications network and have close ties to the Chinese government.
Following the order, money from US FCC’s $8.3 billion a year Universal Service Fund can no longer be used to purchase equipment or procure services from HUAWEI and ZTE, as well as their affiliates, parent companies, and subsidiaries. HUAWEI and ZTE are yet to respond, but both companies have denied the allegations of links with the Chinese government and security risks in the past.
“Both companies have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus, and both companies are broadly subject to Chinese law obligating them to cooperate with the country’s intelligence services,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. “We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure.”