Wireless data carriers are constantly trying to top one another by bragging about the speed and coverage area of their networks. A new test could separate fact from fiction.

The FCC proposed on Sept. 5 a program that would let smartphone users test their wireless data connections and upload their results to a government database.

The program, called Measuring Mobile America, would use a database that could be used as a trusted benchmark for consumers and carriers, the FCC suggested in a press release. On Sept. 21, the FCC plans to hold an open meeting for discussing the new program.

A similar test by the FCC called Measuring Broadband America found that actual wired broadband speeds met 80 to 90 percent of their advertised speeds. “The experience gained within the Measuring Broadband America program has proven the value of working with a broad range of participants including industry and the public research community on the complex technical challenges related to broadband performance measurement and study,” the press release reads. “The FCC notes that in launching this effort we have already received commitments to cooperate by major wireless carriers and CTIA-The Wireless Association.”

"In the one year between the first and second Measuring Broadband America reports, the FCC saw

significant improvements in broadband performance and offerings," the press release reads.