The Federal Communications Commission has released an app in hopes that it will generate accurate comparisons of wireless carriers mobile speeds. The app called Speed Test App for Android will collect information, such as upload and download speeds, latency, and signal strength to allow the FCC to publish a map of this information in the next year. This map is expected to help consumers decide which services to go with and see if consumers are getting what they may be paying for. This creates an incentive for carries to improve their data services.
This is a fascinating step towards transparency in understanding current data speeds and what the average consumer is receiving currently. The data gathered will be interesting for multiple reasons, for designers designing applications to understand what sort of connection their target audience may have, consumers wishing to purchase plans, and providers to know what speeds their competitors may have. I only fear that much like internet speeds, this will mean that certain areas will not be developed as quickly as others, leading to large pockets that only have a slower connection, much like towns and areas that have no other option aside from dial-up, due to the inability or lack of desire for a provider to bring anything else in.