The Federal Communications Commission wants to team up with at least 500,000 Americans to gather data on the range and strength of broadband Internet networks, according to an FCC official.
Walter Johnson, the chief of the electromagnetic compatibility division at the FCC, said at the Federal Mobile Computing Summit in Washington on Tuesday that by the end of the year, Americans will be able to download an app from the agency that will gather data on the user’s network strength and coverage areas.
The app will not collect personal data of any kind, and the resulting data will be made available to the public. The app will be made available for phones running Android operating systems first and to Apple users afterward.
“We want to understand network performance and nothing else,” Johnson said.
He said the resulting data will be helpful in crafting better broadband policies and will be useful to companies looking to enhance their services or academic institutions studying broadband Internet use.
“We have found that people seem to be interested in doing something that will be used to benefit everybody,” Johnson said.