FCC Announces Procedures for Third-Party Mobile Speed Test Apps

On April 14, 2022, the Broadband Data Task Force and Office of Engineering and Technology (“OET”) released a Public Notice announcing procedures for third-party mobile speed test application developers to submit, for OET review and approval, proposals for mobile speed test applications for use in collecting and submitting mobile network performance data as part of the FCC’s Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”).  Proposals are required explain how their proposed application complies with OET Bulletin 75 and the Template in Appendix A to the Public Notice.  After receiving a proposal, staff will conduct an initial review, to ensure the proposal is complete, then issue a public notice specifying a new docket for the proposal and announcing comment and reply comment dates.  Comments will be due no later than 30 days from the date of the public notice and reply comments will be due 45 days from the date of the public notice.  Comments should address technical deficiencies, whether required information is missing, whether the test system architecture would prevent the FCC, service providers, or third parties from reliably receiving the data needed to adjudicate a challenge or evaluate submissions, whether the proposals fail to satisfy privacy, security or policy requirements, or whether the proposal has any other shortcomings of the requirements described in OET Bulletin 75.

On the date their proposal is filed, developers will be required to either make their application available for download, use, and testing on all applicable app stores, or provide detailed “wireframes” depicting each screen of the planned end use interface along with actual test data results and methodology descriptions.  If the app is not available, OET will condition any grant on the production version of the third-party app’s compliance with applicable technical requirements and the full version of the app must be submitted to OET for review and approval prior to BDC system registration.  Major changes to the app (i.e. changes that affect the app’s testing methodology or compliance with technical and data requirements) must be submitted to OET for review and approval.

Approval of a third-party app will be for a term of five years.  Developers will be permitted to seek renewal of that term for up to an additional five years.  Developers that wish to discontinue participation in the BDC program must provide 60 days’ notice to the FCC and 30 days’ notice to users of the app.

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