Friday, October 9, 2009

Canadian broadband is world-class: ISP-funded report

Canada is doing very well in broadband availability, speeds and affordability as compared to other countries, according to a new study funded by the country's largest internet service providers.

The report, commissioned by Bell, Bell Aliant, Rogers, Cogeco, Telus, Shaw and SaskTel and prepared by telecommunications consultant Mark Goldberg, found that Canadians are well served in broadband, contrary to the findings of other international reports.

"Canadians have access to some of the most affordable services, while also benefiting from some of the world's fastest connection speeds for both wireline and wireless broadband services," says the report, published Wednesday.

"Canada continues to lead all G8 countries in terms of adoption of internet services, and ranks in the top 10 for most international comparisons on broadband penetration."

The report criticizes the findings of other studies, particularly regular statistics independently published by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which have found Canadian broadband to be slower, less advanced and more expensive than in other developed countries.

Other studies have focused too narrowly on fibre-based services when measuring the availability of next-generation networks and have used inconsistent sampling in different countries, Goldberg's report says. They have also used unweighted averages to compare prices and speeds and have measured broadband usage by population rather than household.

Broadband is available to 100 per cent of Canadians through four different technologies — phone lines, cable, wireless and satellite — which is a claim few other countries can make, the report affirms. And cable providers have begun offering services at up to 100 megabits per second, ranking Canada at the top of the international speed heap, while prices are actually lower than what the OECD has found, the report adds.

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