Sep. 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM ET
Getting kludgy data speeds with your mobile phone? Lightning fast? The Federal Communications Commission wants to know. On Wednesday, the agency launched its "Measuring Mobile America" effort, described as "the first nationwide mobile broadband performancemeasurement program."
"As mobile broadband has become part of our everydaycommunications infrastructure, it remains difficult for consumers to getdetailed information about their mobile broadband performance," the FCC said in a statement.
The FCC has been monitoring wired broadband Internet speed since 1999 for Americans. In its most recent report, the commission said wired high-speed Internet is available to 94 percent of American households now, and that 60 percent of households subscribe to high-speed services.
But, as TechNewsDaily noted, "much of that is at a minimal download speed of 768 kilobits per second (kbps) — less than the FCC's offical definition of broadband at 4 megabits per second."
The FCC said it will work with the major wireless carriers, as well as other "stakeholders" to give detailed information about mobile broadband performance to consumers. A first meeting is set for Sept. 21.
"We know from experience: transparency on broadband speeds drives improvement in broadband speeds," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement.