Broadband speed and price: Where does Canada rank?


Last year, we released an info-graphic about Canada’s ranking in 2010 with regard to broadband speed and cost. The graphic was based on OECD data, and we were surprised at how popular it turned out to be. The OECD recently released data on broadband speed and cost for 2011, and we’ve created another info-graphic based on this new information.

How did Canada fair in 2011? Breaking the top 20, Canada moved up four places from 23rd to 19th. In actual numbers, the story is even more promising. Average advertised price per megabyte per second (mbps) actually decreased 20 per cent to $3.29. Even more interesting, average advertised speed more than doubled from 21 mbps to 45 mbps.

It would appear Canada is making progress on the broadband front. That is, unless you take a deeper look at the numbers.

Fact is, Canada made an 11 per cent gain in ranking based on a 20 per cent decrease in price and more than 100 per cent increase in speed. So while we made gains in true numbers, those gains are barely keeping pace with the other 33 countries that are a part of the study.

You can see this year’s info-graphic here.

Why do I think broadband speed and price are so important? Because broadband speed and price are a nation’s digital currency. If we want Canada to be a digital leader, we need to make our currency attractive to businesses. As I stated in my last post, over the past decade Canada has lost its leadership position in the global digital economy. We can’t afford to settle for the status quo.

It’s time for us to retake our position as a global digital leader. Please get informed and make your voice heard. Together, we can build a stronger Canadian Internet.

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  • Pierre Bouchard

    I really don’t see why the Canadian position would have improved, particularly for the average speed. With Bell Fibe, in downtown Montreal, I cannot have more than 15 Mbps in download… but the price correspond (15*3.29$).
    So, the data and reports from OCDE have to be taken with caution as many of these data are provided by the countries.

  • WD Milner

    It’s sad when Canada was one of the first countries to offer DSL at 7 mbps for what you now pay for 1.5 mbps or less. I know many people still using dial-up because they can’t afford broadband.

    The push (and I do mean PUSH) byt some telco for fibre is ludicrous when you consider the price in contrast to other places in the world. And why? sheer greed. Complaints about network overloading and saturation are excuses to maintain higher pricing and prevent competition from sources that offer content that competes with the network providers own content. The CRTC seems either too blind, too powerless, too cowardly or too well bought to do anything about it.

    In addition to the comments and rightful criticisms regarding extra fees, low upload speeds, and caps mentioned in the comments to the infographics, most if not all Canadian ISP’s have TOS terms that don’t let you have your own personal web or mail server unless you pay for a commercial account – which is MUCH more expensive for the same speeds. Additionally there are extra charges if you actually provide internet access to your home network through their modem.

    No, broadband in Canada, though better than many places, is far from being a stellar example – especially considering we were once leaders in the field.

    By the way, in common network parlance mbps is megabits per second not megabytes per second.