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The Federal Communications Commission has decided to start reporting on mobile broadband speeds across the country, the agency announced today.

The FCC will begin a review process of the mobile networks at a meeting Sept. 21, with the goal of providing customers with a report card of sorts for those networks. The goal is to let people know what kind of service they’re getting versus the service they’re paying for (e.g. if your network speeds and coverage aren’t what was promised, the new report card should let you know). This in turn should spark competition among rival wireless carriers for your business.

The new effort, which is part of the FCC’s overall National Broadband Plan, has gained support both from major wireless carriers and from the CTIA. While industries usually frown upon having to work with an outside party to prove they’re providing customers with a quality product, it’s nice to see that this isn’t the case with U.S. carriers.

“At the open meeting, Commission staff from the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau will discuss with interested parties the technical methods for performance testing of mobile broadband Internet service, methodological approaches to remotely acquiring and analyzing such data, and other methodological considerations for the testing of mobile broadband performance,” the FCC said in a statement about the Sept. 21 meeting.

Photo by Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat


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