Council leaders have argued Ofcom should be given the power to independently verify mobile phone coverage.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said operators are ‘marking their own homework’ as coverage checker websites rely on computer modelling by operators rather than real-life experience.
In order to provide an accurate picture of coverage, the LGA said local areas should be given annual speed and reliability health checks using on the ground testing.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: ‘Councils are government’s key partners in driving improvement in people’s lives across the whole country.
’Before the Government signs up to any new deal, we want to work with them to ensure that we can properly measure whether mobile operators are achieving coverage that improves mobile signal in the real world, rather than numbers on a spreadsheet.’