Friday, 2 December 2011

High Speed Internet in Canada

Canada's ranking in high speed internet penetration has been slipping constantly for the past ten years, although previously a leader in the field.   The report, prepared by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ranks 34 member countries.  Canada is ranked 13th of 34 member countries.  Interestingly enough the U.S. ranks 15th with only 27.3% penetration.

When it comes to wireless connections, Canada fares far worse.  With only 31.8% of Canadians with wireless access, the country ranks 26th.

Even when you have access in rural areas, in my case only 1 hour from Edmonton, the situation can be frustrating.   Satellite access has been, until now, based on a fair access rule of 250 MB per 24 hour period.   Exceeding that limit result in having your internet access, for all intends and purposes, revoked for 24 hours.   Additional problems include getting a service in situation if equipment fails.  This writer waited 14 days for the replacement of a modem a year ago.  It is not just a straight exchange, since the satellite dish requires realignment or synchronization.

Earlier this week, when the provider has a problem with Hughes modems, the system apparently went down for four hours.  When the system apparently returned, this users modem did not receive any signals.   Upon query, the techs determined that the modem may have to be replaced.  Oh no, not a another two weeks.  It was then determined, since the user's warranty had run out, the service call and replacement equipment would be charged to the client.  Really?

Fortunately there is now wireless access in this area, available at a cost of up to $70 a month for up to 10GB of data.  While this is not ideal, it seems the best option for this area.   It will take a month to determine how much data is used on the average. 

Canada and the US should be in the forefront of internet access and not lag behind other nations.  Federal and State/Provincial government should put pressure on internet providers to provide affordable high speed internet access to most people.   The internet is no longer a luxury.


  1. Unfornately in my area I can't get wireless system as I don't have enought signal for internet....needed at least 3 and I only had I stuck with the dish until something better comes along.....great story...Thanks

  2. Thanks for commenting. The same happens all over Canada. Telus says it's 4G network reaches 94% of Albertans.