Friday, October 9, 2009

Mystery endures

About 30 per cent of households still have not chosen to take up broadband, a phenomenon that the report says cannot be fully explained as of yet.

"Affordability is likely an issue for some households, particularly those who might have to pay more in rural and remote Canada, and also among lower-income groups in urban centres," the report says.

"For urban non-adopters who have lower-priced broadband options available to them, it may be that they do no see sufficient value.... This may be because of a lack of digital literacy, or perhaps their ability to use the internet at work is sufficient such that they do not feel the need to buy it for home."

The report also runs counter to an international broadband quality study released last week by Oxford University and sponsored by network builder Cisco. That study's comparisons found that Canadian broadband networks are barely coping with current internet usage and are poorly positioned to handle future applications such as high-definition video.

The ISP-sponsored report criticizes the Oxford study as well for not revealing more details about how it came to its conclusions.

A number of prominent technology leaders — including University of Waterloo president David Johnston, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist and Bill St. Arnaud, chief research officer for CANARIE, Canada's government-sponsored advanced internet organization — have said Canada's broadband situation is in crisis.

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