Internet in Canada

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Canada ranks as the 21st in the world for Internet usage with 31.77 million users as of July 2016 (est). This is 89.8% of the population.[1]

Web use[edit]

According to the CIRA 2013 Factbook, Canadians spend more time online than anyone else in the world—an average of 45 hours a month. They also watch more online video, with an average of 300 views per month in 2011.[2]

The most popular websites in Canada are major international sites such as Google, Facebook, and YouTube.[3] The most popular website "Pornhub" is headquartered in Montréal, Canada.[4]

The most popular native Canadian websites are the major Canadian news media companies, which maintain an extensive web presence. According to a February 2008 report by comScore, the most popular Canadian sites are Quebecor Media, principally Canoe.ca, followed closely by CTVglobemedia which includes globeandmail.com and CTV.ca.[5]

According to Harvard researchers, Canada has some of the lowest internet standards among OECD countries, as a result of high costs and slow internet speeds.[6]

File sharing[edit]

Canada has the largest number of file sharers per capita in the world.[7]

In general, the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted material, whether for profit or for personal use, is illegal under Canada's Copyright Act.[8] However, certain exemptions are made for fair dealing copying of small portions of copyrighted works, for activities such as private study, criticism, and news reporting. Furthermore, the Act allows that the copying of sound recordings of musical works for the personal use is not copyright infringement.[citation needed] This is supported by a levy on blank recording media[citation needed], which is distributed to record labels and musicians, although not evenly. While the unauthorized downloading or uploading of complete copyrighted works such as books, movies, or software is illegal under the Act, the situation regarding music files is more complex.

Fibre optic networks[edit]

Rogers FCI Broadband fiber optic buried in Ontario.

Multiple providers, including Bell Canada and Rogers Communications in the Eastern Canada and Telus Internet in BC and Alberta, have made investments into upgrading their infrastructure to provide last mile fibreoptic connectivity, or fibre to the home (FTTH).[9][10] In December 2016, local company MNSi Telecom announced a $35 million fibre build in the city of Windsor.[11]

In July 2015, the CRTC ruled that major telecoms providing fibre to the home must allow smaller providers to purchase wholesale access to their networks. Bell Canada attempted to oppose the ruling, but failed.[12]

Comparison[edit]

The following table summarizes residential broadband offerings in Canada. No provider is nationwide and the chart does not include abilities of customer equipment or the speeds after peer-to-peer traffic shaping. In particular, some products are "up to" the speed quoted and may not deliver that speed in all areas. Since plans may change at any time, this list is not comprehensive. Some additional ISPs and their plans can be found on Canadian ISP; however, even this list is not necessarily up to date.

Consumer Internet Plans Available in Canada
Lowest Tier Highest Tier
Internet Service Provider Type Download (Mbit/s) Upload (Mbit/s) Cap (GB) Download (Mbit/s) Upload (Mbit/s) Cap (GB) Region
MNSi Telecom[13] DSL 7 1 400 7 1 Southwestern Ontario
MNSi Telecom[13] Fibre/FTTH 10 2 1000 100 Southwestern Ontario
Access Communications[14][better source needed] cable/Fibre(Hybrid) /FTTP/vdsl 1.25 0.250 N/A 100 5 N/A Saskatchewan
CIK Telecom[15] Cable/DSL/FTTB 5 1 1000 1000 All of Canada
Switch[16] DSL/Fibre/Wireless 6 1 10 10000 All of Canada
O-NET[17] FTTH 20 20 250 1000 1000 2048 Olds, Alberta
Coextro[18] Fibre/Ethernet 250 250 500 500 Ontario
Lakeland Networks FTTP 1000 1000 1000 1000 Muskoka
Origen Telecom[19] DSL/VDSL 6 0.8 50 10 Quebec - Montreal
Origen Telecom[20] Fiber 5 5 1000 1000 Quebec - Montreal
Dotto One FTTH/FTTB 40 10 1000 1000 Toronto
Acanac[21] Cable/DSL 6 1 100 10 Ontario and Quebec
Brama Telecom DSL 6 0.78 300 50 25 300 Ontario and Quebec
GPNetworks/GPOptix Fiber/Wireless 20 20 100 1000 200 County of Grande Prairie No.1
Brama Telecom DSL 6 0.78 300 50 25 300 Ontario and Quebec
FibreStream[22] Fibre 50 50 500 500 Ontario
Execulink Telecom[23] Cable Internet 5 1 40 100 5 Ontario
Comwave Cable/DSL 6 0.78 50 4 Ontario and Quebec
8COM DSL/Cable 6 1 325 250 15 Western Canada, Eastern Canada
Internet Lightspeed DSL/Cable 6 1 325 250 15 Western Canada
Shaw Communications[24] Cable/FTTN 5 0.5 65 150 15 1024 Western Canada and Ontario
Rogers Hi-Speed Internet Cable/FTTN 30 5 100 1000 50 Eastern Canada
Vidéotron Cable/FTTN 5 1 15 1000 50 Quebec
Cogeco Fibre 15 0.6 95 250 20 525 Ontario and Quebec
EastLink[25][26][27][28] Cable/FTTN 50 5 950 10 All Canadian provinces except Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Bell Internet[29] VDSL2 5 1 15 50 10 175 Ontario and Quebec
Bell Internet[29] Fibre 15 15 75 940 100 Ontario and Quebec
Bell Aliant (DSL) DSL 1.5 0.640 7 0.640 Atlantic Canada
Bell Aliant FibreOP FTTH 50 10 940 100 Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario
National Capital Freenet VDSL2 6 0.8 300 50 10 300 National Capital Region
Nexicom[30] VDSL2 6 0.8 25 10 Ontario
Nexicom[31] Cable 6 1.5 60 4 Ontario
Primus Cable/DSL/FTTN 5 1 250[32] 20[32] Across Canada
Telus Internet[33] VDSL2 15 1 150 50 12 1024/∞ Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec
Telus Internet PureFibre[34] Fibre 15 15 150 940 250 1024/∞ Alberta and British Columbia
SaskTel[35] ADSL /vdsl 0.25 0.125 N/A 25 2 N/A Saskatchewan
SaskTel infiNET[35] Fibre 2 1 N/A 260 60 N/A Saskatchewan
Start Communications Cable 10 1 100/∞ 60 10 300/∞ Ontario (Rogers Areas)
Start Communications Cable 10 2 100/∞ 50 10 300/∞ Ontario (Cogeco Areas)
Start Communications DSL 6 0.8 100/∞ 50 10 300 Ontario
Manitoba Telecom Services[36] DSL/Fibre 7 (Rural) 0.768 (Rural) N/A 250 30 N/A Manitoba
TekSavvy Cable 5 1 150 250[37] 20[37] Various
TekSavvy DSL 2 0.64 75 50 10 Various
VMedia Cable 30 5 120 10 Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta
VMedia DSL 6 1 50 10 Ontario and Quebec
Vodalink Telecom[38] DSL 6 .8 50 10 Ontario and Quebec
Telehop Cable 3 0.25 300 15 1 300 Ontario
EBOX DSL (ON) 6 0.8 150 50 10 Ontario
EBOX Cable (ON) 5 1 100 250 20 Ontario
EBOX DSL (QC) 6 0.8 250 50 10 Quebec
EBOX Cable (QC) 5 1 100 200 30 Quebec
Novus Entertainment Fibre 25 10 250 300 300 N/A Vancouver
Velcom VDSL2 6 0.8 100 25 10 N/A Ontario and Quebec
Yak Communications DSL 6 1 50 10 Ontario and Quebec
Yak Communications Cable 5 1 60 10 Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta
DERYtelecom Cable 3 0.8 20 30 5 Quebec
F6 Networks Inc. Fibre 200 200 unlimited 1000 1000 unlimited New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
High Speed Crow Inc. Wireless/Fiber 3.0 .5 35 1000 1000 5000 Manitoba

Regional Canadian ISPs peer through a few major Internet exchange points, the most notable of which is the Toronto Internet Exchange. However, these regional networks usually share the same backbones for longer distance connectivity.

The largest DSL provider in Canada is Bell Internet (formerly Bell Sympatico). Bell owns and maintains physical layer connectivity through a combination of optical fibre networks, DSLAM and Customer Premises Equipment. In British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), and parts of Quebec (QC), the incumbent telco is Telus, owning the DSLAMs and fibre, providing many of the same services Bell does.

The other major players offering DSL and IPTV services are SaskTel in Saskatchewan and Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) in Manitoba. Download speeds are up to 25 Mbit/s for average users, though recent upgrades now make HDTV and much higher rates possible.[citation needed]

For cable offerings, standard North American DOCSIS based equipment are used. The largest cable internet providers in Canada are Shaw Communications (Western) and Rogers Cable (Eastern) offering internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbit/s.

Usage-based billing (UBB)[edit]

Internet bandwidth limits and caps are considered by many to be too restrictive, due to the increasing popularity of online streaming media services such as Netflix, which require large amounts of bandwidth.[39]

The decision to impose bandwidth caps on smaller independent ISPs[40] caused controversy in 2011 when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Canada's telecommunications regulator, approved a request by Bell Internet to begin, on March 1, 2011, to apply a bandwidth cap on the users of smaller independent ISPs who use Bell's last mile infrastructure. This new billing structure is called "usage-based billing" or UBB.

Bell pushed for a cap as small as 25 gigabytes of transfer per month, plus a $1–2 CAD surcharge for every GB over the limit. The stated intent was to prevent the customers of independent ISPs from congesting Bell's network,[41] because many independent ISPs offer service with unlimited bandwidth, while most major Canadian ISPs do not. The CRTC was criticized for allowing Bell to use anti-competitive practices to favour its own Internet and television offerings.[42] Bell is also under fire for forcing its own pricing structure and business on its wholesalers. Bell admits that more than 10 percent of its subscribers (at the time of said download cap) exceed their limit, resulting in additional billing.[43]

Many savvy Internet users also accuse Bell of falsifying information to the public regarding network congestion. Network congestion is primarily caused by many users accessing the Internet at the same time (after school/work, 5pm–10pm) and not by heavy users alone. Similar criticism was levied when Eastlink Rural Connect applied UBB in July 2015, which many users reported made peak time congestion worse. See Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative for this and related wireless broadband congestion problems.

On February 2, 2011, industry minister Tony Clement and Prime Minister Stephen Harper called on the CRTC to reverse the decision. The next day, the CRTC announced that it would delay its decision by 60 days.[44]

There are some supporters for usage-based-billing (UBB) at lower rates instead of the current $2/GB. One example is TekSavvy, providing "Lite" cable Internet services (6 Mbit/s down, ¼ Mbit/s up) at $30.95/month with 300 GB, equivalent to around 10¢/GB.[45] Rogers Hi-Speed Internet offers Internet access at the same speed for $41.49/month but with only 20 GB, equivalent to around $2.07/GB.[46] The difference of $1.97/GB between the two providers is one key reason why consumer advocates oppose UBB. Some also claim that it costs the incumbents as low as 3¢/GB.[47]

Supporters also suggest that instead of a penalty-based system (heavy users pay more), a credit-based system (light users be credited back monthly) would be much more consumer friendly and fair.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World Factbook". www.cia.gov. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ "CIRA Factbook 2013". Canadian Internet Registration Authority. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ Alexa.com Top Sites in Canada Retrieved April 21, 2013
  4. ^ "Montreal-based Pornhub reveals our porn habits with Big Data". Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  5. ^ comScore. Archived July 24, 2012, at WebCite Top Canadian Websites - 2008 Retrieved April 21, 2013
  6. ^ Nowak, Peter (2010). "Canadian internet slow, expensive: Harvard". CBC News. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Digital Broadband Content" (PDF). OECD. December 13, 2005. Retrieved July 15, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Copyright Act of Canada". Department of Justice: Canada. November 5, 2007. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Super-fast Internet is coming – along with super-high pricing". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Fibre optic cable battle: Smaller players want in on Big 3 networks". CBC News. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  11. ^ Roseann Danese, "MNSi Spending Millions on High Speed Internet", Windsor Star, November 30, 2016
  12. ^ "CRTC to implement wholesale access to ultra fast fibre networks". Financial Post. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "MNSi Telecom - Local Internet at Fibre Speed with Home Phone". www.mnsi.net. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  14. ^ <http://www.myaccess.ca/internet/> "Access Communications High Speed Internet comparison chart". Retrieved Nov 10, 2017. 
  15. ^ "CIK Telecom -Top Internet Service Provider in Canada". www.ciktel.com. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  16. ^ http://switch.ca/internet
  17. ^ http://o-net.ca/internet/
  18. ^ http://www.coextro.com/internet
  19. ^ "High Speed Dsl Internet Connection Plan For Businesses". Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Fiber Optic Internet Connection Plan For Businesses". Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Unlimited Fibre & Cable Internet Plans & Prices Ontario | Acanac". Acanac. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  22. ^ http://www.fibrestream.ca/
  23. ^ "Residential Cable Internet Plans". Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Shaw Internet Plans". Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Eastlink Basic Internet". Retrieved February 21, 2011. 
  26. ^ "EastLink Internet Services". Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  27. ^ "EastLink 40 Internet". Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  28. ^ "EastLink 100 Internet". Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  29. ^ a b "Bell Internet Access". Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Nexicom ADSL tier comparison chart". Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Nexicom cable tier comparison chart". Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b https://primus.ca
  33. ^ "TELUS Internet Plans". Retrieved August 21, 2016. 
  34. ^ "TELUS PureFibre". Retrieved September 14, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b "SaskTel High Speed Internet comparison chart". Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  36. ^ "MTS High Speed Internet Plans". Retrieved February 26, 2011. 
  37. ^ a b https://teksavvy.com/en/residential/internet/cable
  38. ^ "Vodalink Telecom -Top Internet Service Provider in Canada". www.vodalink.ca. Retrieved February 2, 2017. 
  39. ^ Lasar, Matthew. "200GB to 25GB: Canada gets first, bitter dose of metered Internet". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  40. ^ "CRTC decision 2011–44 on usage-based billing (UBB)". Toronto Free-Net. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  41. ^ "CRTC decision 2011–44 on usage-based billing (UBB)". Toronto Free-Net. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  42. ^ Marlow, Iain (October 29, 2010). "CRTC ruling handcuffs competitive market: TekSavvy". Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  43. ^ Geist, Michael (February 6, 2011). "Geist: The real reason we pay so much for Internet". The Star. Toronto. 
  44. ^ "CRTC to review usage-based billing decision". CBC. February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Affordable Internet". TekSavvy. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  46. ^ Rogers Communications, (2013), Compare Packages, retrieved December 30, 2012
  47. ^ Thompson, Hugh (February 1, 2011). "What is a fair price for Internet service?". Globe and Mail. Toronto. 

External links[edit]

  • DSL Reports – Extensive site on broadband with user reports from around the USA and Canada
  • Canadian Broadband Forum – Site on broadband in Canada with user reviews from Canada