Communications Monitoring Report 2019
Retail Fixed Internet Sector and Broadband Availability
On this page
- Residential market
- Business market
- Broadband service availability
- Broadband applications
In 2018, the retail fixed Internet sector revenues increased by 7.3% and subscriptions by 3.4% compared to 2017. From 2014 to 2018, revenues for this sector grew at an average annual rate of 8.7%. Out of a total of $11.8 billion revenues generated in 2018, residential access services accounted for the largest share at $9.4 billion (80.1%). Business access and transport services generated $1.6 billion (13.4%) of revenues, while equipment sales and rentals, as well as Internet applications, generated the remaining $0.8 billion (6.5%).
More Canadians are subscribing to Internet services, with 88.8% of households subscribing to these services in 2018 and 29.0% subscribing to broadband services with speeds of 50/10 Mbps and unlimited data transfer. Canadians continued to use more data, subscribe to faster and larger packages, and allocate more money to Internet services.
Business Internet revenues grew at a slower pace than residential revenues. However, more Canadian businesses subscribed to high-speed Internet service packages, with subscriptions increasing by 3.1%.
Fibre deployment continued, increasing the availability of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) Internet services from 35.1% to 44.0%.These deployments were mainly in large urban areas. At the same time, availability of 50/10 service with unlimited data reached 85.7% of households, compared to 84.1% in 2017.
In this report, Internet service providers (ISPs) are categorized into four main groups: incumbent TSPs,Footnote 1 cable-based carriers,Footnote 2 other facilities-based carriersFootnote 3 and wholesale-based service providersFootnote 4.
i. Residential market
As mentioned above, more Canadians are subscribing to Internet access services. Canadian households continue to use more data, subscribe to faster and larger packages, and allocate more money to Internet services.
In 2018, residential subscriptions exceeded 13 million (88.8% of the 14.9M households), a 3.5% increase from 2017, which is more than twice the population growth rate.Footnote 5 Cable-based carriers and incumbent TSPs had an 85.5% share of the market by subscriptions while wholesale-based service providers and other facilities-based carriers continued to increase their share of the market, reaching 8.9% and 5.6% of subscriptions, respectively, up from 6.8% and 3.9% in 2014.
Year over year growth rates of Internet subscriptions were approximately 2 to 4 times higher than population growth rates from 2014 to 2018. Overall, during this period, Internet subscriptions grew on average 3.3% per year, while the population grew on average by 1.2% per year during the same period.
Canadians continued to subscribe to Internet services with higher monthly data allowances. In 2018, 47.5% (5.7 million) of all residential Internet subscriptions were for services with unlimited monthly data transfer limits. Average data use continued to increase concurrently, with a 25.3% increase in average combined download/upload data usage since 2017, reaching 209.5 GB per month in 2018.
In 2018, Canadian households paid approximately $76 million in Internet overage charges which is 0.8% of total residential Internet service revenues; this is down from the approximately $94 million paid in 2017. Approximately 2.3% of subscribers went over their usage limit in 2018, which is down from 3.6% in 2017.
All information in this section regarding usage of gigabytes per month, and subscriptions by advertised speed and advertised download capacity, is from the larger ISPs representing approximately 90% of total residential high-speed Internet service subscriptions in 2018.
In 2018, 49.5% of high-speed residential Internet service subscriptions were for a service that met the Commission’s target speeds of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload, compared to 36.4% in 2017, showing that Canadians are increasingly subscribing to faster Internet services.
Subscriptions to services meeting these speeds (50/10 Mbps), and with unlimited monthly data transfer, increased to 38.6% of total high-speed subscriptions from 28.1% in 2017.
Not only are Canadians increasingly subscribing to Internet services meeting the Commission’s target, they are also subscribing to even faster services in a growing number. The proportion of subscriptions to services offering speeds of 100 Mbps or faster grew more than ten times from 2.6% in 2014 to 33.1% in 2018, while less than a third of the subscriptions were for services offering speeds of less than 16 Mbps in 2018. As a result, the weighted average download speed of residential subscriptions grew by 88.9% from 2017 to 2018 to reach 126.0 Mbps.
While Canadians subscribed to faster services, they also consumed more data. The average amount of data downloaded by residential Internet service subscribers increased by 25.4% between 2017 and 2018 to 192.9 GB per month, and by an average of 30.5% annually from 2014 to 2018. Average upload amounts also increased by 24.9% in 2018, reaching an average of 16.7 GB per month. Increases from 2014 to 2018 resulted in nearly double the average uploaded data per subscriber and nearly triple the average downloaded data.
The Internet service revenue share of the top five companies (Bell, Rogers, Shaw, TELUS and Videotron) decreased, from 73.3% in 2017 to 71.7% in 2018.
In the meantime, independent ISPs slowly increased their revenue share. Wholesale-based service providers’ share grew from 5.6% in 2014 to 6.8% in 2018 and other facilities-based carriers’ share grew from 4.1% in 2014 to 6.9% in 2018.
Independent ISPs continued to increase their share of residential Internet service revenues from 2014 to 2018 at the expense of incumbent TSPs’ and cable-based carriers’ share of the revenues. Wholesale-based service providers and other facilities-based carriers were the only types of providers to increase their share of revenues from 2017 to 2018. Cable-based carriers continued to have the highest share of residential Internet service revenues.
Wholesale-based service providers consistently reported the lowest average revenue per user (ARPU), while the highest ARPU was attributed to the other facilities-based carrier category, which consists mainly of fixed wireless and satellite-based service providers. The ARPU for incumbent TSPs and cable-based carriers were $59.64 and $61.06, respectively.
The industry-wide ARPU increased by 3.2% from 2017 to 2018, with an average growth rate of 6.1% from 2014 to 2018.
ARPU may vary from Figure 9.9 below, which uses data from only the larger providers. These providers hold 90% of all high-speed residential Internet service subscriptions. ARPU is calculated based on whole-year revenues and on year-end subscription data, not data from a particular month. It also includes data from dial-up services.
Per subscriber revenues increased rapidly for the increasingly popular higher-speed Internet service packages. For instance, one-month average reported revenues for Internet service packages with download speeds of 50 Mbps and faster increased by 3.5% from 2017. This is especially impactful in the marketplace, as these packages represent 52.0% of the market, as shown in Figure 9.4. Meanwhile, packages with download speeds under 16 Mbps (28.9% of the market share) have seen one-month average revenues increase by 6.4%. The average revenues generated per subscriber with services offering speeds between 16 and 50 Mbps increased by 8.0% from 2017 to 2018. These services represented 19.2% of the Internet service market in 2018.
As part of their efforts to compete with cable-based carriers, incumbent TSPs continued to build FTTH networks and promote fibre-based Internet services. This resulted in a significant increase in their share of fibre-based Internet service subscriptions, which went from 5.0% in 2014 to 14.5% in 2018.
|Incumbent TSPs||Cable-based carriers||Other facilities-based carriers||Wholesale-based service providers||Total|
|Revenues||$3,566 M||$4,570 M||$653 M||$639 M||$9,429 M|
|Revenue Growth, 2017-2018||3.5%||7.1%||30.3%||8.5%||7.1%|
|Subscriber Growth, 2017-2018||2.5%||1.2%||21.8%||11.5%||3.5%|
|ARPU Growth, 2017-2018||0.2%||5.0%||15.8%||-2.1%||3.2%|
|Average Subscriber Monthly Usage||208.9 GB||213.0 GB||77.0 GB||252.3 GB||209.5 GB|
Independent ISPs have been reporting steady growth in the Canadian telecommunications market as their market share by revenues and subscriptions continued to rise, providing Canadians with alternatives to traditional facilities-based providers when selecting an internet service provider.
Wholesale-based service providers reported the lowest ARPU of $47.60, 20.2% lower than the ARPU of incumbent TSPs and 22.0% lower than the ARPU of the cable-based carriers, while other facilities-based carriers had the highest ARPU of $81.09, 34.3% higher than the overall average of $60.39.
The overall monthly average data usage per subscriber increased by 25.3% from 2017. Subscribers of wholesale-based service provider Internet services experienced much higher data usage compared to subscribers of Incumbent TSP and cable-based carrier Internet services, a difference of at least 40GB/month. Subscribers of other facilities-based carrier Internet services had the lowest monthly data usage of 77.0 GB.
Interestingly, wholesale-based service providers reported the lowest ARPU while also having the highest monthly average data usage, meaning that, on average, wholesale-based service providers receive the least revenue per gigabyte.
In 2018, residential Internet access service revenues totaled $9.4 billion. These revenues for wholesale-based service providers and other facilities-based carriers continued to grow, increasing their share in the residential Internet service market. They accounted for 6.8% ($0.6 billion) and 6.9% ($0.7 billion) of this total, respectively. Although revenues for incumbent TSPs and cable-based carriers grew as well (3.5% and 7.1% increase, respectively), both of their market shares continue to see slight declines in recent years.
More Canadians are subscribing to Internet access services. Residential Internet access subscriptions grew by 3.5% to over 13 million subscribers in 2018. Subscription numbers grew for all service provider types with the largest increase being reported by other facilities-based carriers, whose subscription numbers increased by 21.8% from 2017 to 2018.
Although incumbent TSPs and cable-based carriers had the vast majority of the market by subscription (85.5%), their market share has been on the decline since 2016. By contrast, wholesale-based service providers and other facilities-based carriers have experienced an increase in their share of this market.
Canadians are consuming more and more data each year. The industry weighted average for data usage in 2018 was 192.9GB/month download and 16.7GB/month upload, up 25.4% and 24.9% respectively.
Year to year, users of wholesale-based service provider Internet services have been consuming much more data than users of any other service provider type. Wholesale-based service providers had much higher weighted average download and upload usage compared to the industry average, at 231.7GB/month download and 20.7GB/month upload.
Low data usage for other facilities-based carrier Internet services can be attributed to the capacity limitations of technologies such as fixed wireless and satellite
As Canadians continue to use more data, they are subscribing to Internet service packages that offer faster speeds and higher transfer limits, allocating more money towards these Internet services.
Subscriptions to Internet services with download speeds between 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps made up 18.9% of this sector in 2018. Wholesale-based service providers reported the lowest one-month average revenue of $59.21 at this advertised download speed category, while incumbent TSPs reported the highest, at $86.86. It is interesting to note that the one-month average revenues for wholesale-based service providers were found to be far below the overall average across all download speeds (with the exception of speeds of 100 Mbps and above), while the one-month average revenues for incumbent TSPs were above the overall average across all speed categories.
Higher-capacity Internet services are becoming much more popular and are poised to take a greater share of the subscription base going forward. As seen in Figure 9.3, 87.8% of all residential Internet subscriptions were for services offering transfer limits of 100GB or more while almost half (47.5%) were for services offering an unlimited transfer limit. Incumbent TSPs and cable-based carriers made up 43.4% of the unlimited transfer limit subscriptions whereas independent ISPs accounted for the rest.
Although wholesale-based service providers make up less than 5% of all unlimited capacity subscriptions, 71.5% of all their residential Internet subscriptions were for services with unlimited transfer limits, the highest of all service types, with cable-based carriers trailing at 48.4% and incumbent TSPs at 46.9%. Only 5.0% of all subscriptions to Internet services provided by other facilities-based carriers were unlimited capacity subscriptions.
ii. Business market
Independent ISPs, which are not affiliated with Canadian incumbent TSPs or cable-based carriers, received 20.9% of the access service revenues while having only 11.5% of the subscribers in 2018. Canadian businesses paid $3.5 million in Internet overage charges, with 1.4% of subscriptions exceeding their monthly limits in an average month.
From 2014 to 2018, growth in the number of subscriptions to business access services was strong. It occasionally exceeded residential subscription growth rates (sometimes by a large margin), except in 2016, when changes in company reporting resulted in a change in results.
Cable-modem-based Internet access service consistently showed increases in market share over the period from 2014 to 2018. These increases made serving businesses over existing DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) cable networks an increasingly important part of the business of cable-based carriers. Other technologies, such as fixed wireless and satellite, had only a minimal share of the business market.
iii. Broadband service availability
Broadband deployment improved since 2017. Rural broadband availability of speeds 25 Mbps and higher and 50Mbps and higher saw the greatest improvements, growing from 65.6% to 72.1% for 25 Mbps and higher, and from 39.2% to 43.0% for 50 Mbps and higher. The Commission’s target of 50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload, and unlimited data transfer capacity was available to 97.7% of the population in urban areas, an increase from 96.6% in 2017, and 40.8% of the population in rural areas, an increase from 37.2% in 2017.
According to the Broadband Measurement Project, the majority of broadband service offerings in Canada met or exceeded their advertised speeds, regardless of the access technology used. More details of this project and the results of the first phase can be found on the CRTC website, in the Broadband Measurement Project section.
Unless otherwise noted, broadband service availability figures exclude wireless mobile technology. “Satellite access services” in this section refer to direct-to-home (DTH) satellite, and not to the technology used to connect communities to the Internet.
|Type of Service||Subtype||2016||2017||2018|
|Wireline and fixed wireless||Total||98.4||98.7||98.8|
|Universal service objective||50 Mbps download 10 Mbps upload unlimited data transfer option||84.3||84.1||85.7|
Notes: The declines in the availability of DSL (digital subscriber line) in 2016 to 2018 were due to the deployment of fibre technology replacing DSL equipment in some areas, with improvements in company reporting also contributing. The increase in cable modem availability in 2016 is attributable mainly to the change to the pseudo-householdFootnote 7 methodology. The vast majority of areas that had 50/10 Mbps service also had unlimited monthly data transfer options. Mobile availability is depicted as a percentage of population.
Fibre-based Internet service availability continued to increase, going from 35.1% in 2017 to 44.0% in 2018. These FTTH deployments occurred mainly in large urban areas. Incumbent TSPs used their fibre infrastructure to make gigabit service available to over 6.0 million households, while cable-based carriers used mainly DOCSIS 3.1 technology to make gigabit service available to over 7.1 million households. However, in general, fibre-based gigabit services have far faster upload speeds than their DOCSIS-based counterparts.
Incumbent TSPs and other non-traditional television providers continued to increase the availability of IP technology-based television service (IPTV), proving a source of competition to traditional cable-based systems, while leveraging their broadband infrastructure to provide services outside of Internet and legacy phone service.
Services at speeds meeting or exceeding the Commission’s target of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload with an option for unlimited monthly data transfer were available to 85.7% of Canadian households. However, the availability varied greatly between urban and rural areas, with only 40.8% of rural households having access to this kind of service, versus 97.7% in urban areas. Subscriptions to a 50/10 Mbps service with unlimited monthly data transfer increased to 29.0% of Canadian households in 2018, compared to 21.1% in 2017.
The total footprint for all areas with access to broadband service speeds between 25 Mbps and above and 150 Mbps and above saw improvement while availability of broadband service speeds of 200 Mbps and above, and a gigabit saw dramatic increase in 2018.
Availability of broadband by province and territory
Availability continued to vary by province when it comes to higher-speed broadband services. Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, and the North had less coverage at the 50 Mbps level while British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario led the way in terms of availability of 50 Mbps service.
Overall, gigabit broadband availability improved in 2018 with British Columbia and Alberta seeing the biggest improvements. Gigabit service was available to 73.7% of households in British Columbia in 2018, a huge increase from 17.4% in the previous year. From 2017 to 2018, households in Alberta also saw substantial growth, growing from 6.0% to 38.1%. During this same period, availability of gigabit service in Canada grew 30.1%, from 49.9% to 65.0%.
The vast majority of areas that had broadband service had access to speeds of 5 Mbps or faster, with the exception of Nunavut, which had far less coverage at 5 Mbps or faster. In fact, only 49.7% of households in Nunavut had access to speeds of at least 5 Mbps, and none had access to speeds of 16 Mbps or faster.
|Province/Territory||5 Mbps +||25 Mbps +||50 Mbps +||50/10 Mbps and Unlimited Data Transfer||100 Mbps +||Gigabit|
|Prince Edward Island||92.8%||85.4%||60.2%||60.2%||60.2%||56.0%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||90.3%||80.1%||71.2%||71.2%||71.2%||59.2%|
Because satellite service has a national footprint, it is excluded from this table.
Availability of broadband in various communities
As previously stated, services at speeds meeting or exceeding the Commission’s target of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload with an option for unlimited monthly data transfer were available to 85.7% of Canadian households. However, rural and small centre populations continued to trail behind the urban population in terms of availability of these broadband services, with only 40.8% of rural households having access to these, and small population centres having 88.7% availability. This is in contrast to the near-ubiquitous availability of such services in medium and large centres. Although there is a considerable gap in availability of 50/10/unlimited service between urban and rural, this divide is shrinking.
In 2018, 89.3% of the OLMC population across Canada had access to 50/10/unlimited Internet service with OLMC’s in British-Columbia and Quebec leading with 97.1% and 92.6% availability, respectively.
Availability of 50/10/unlimited service in First Nations reserves was behind rural areas with only 31.3% having access to this service. This service was not accessible to First Nations reserves in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.
Advancements in the deployment of rural broadband were mainly in the 25+ Mbps and 50+ Mbps categories, increasing from 65.6% to 72.1% availability for 25 Mbps or faster and from 39.2% to 43.0% availability for 50 Mbps or faster. This is due mainly to continued deployments of LTE-based fixed wireless technology. Deployments in lower-speed categories did not increase as appreciably, due to being centred mainly on already-built areas with slower service speeds.
Broadband availability was nearly ubiquitous nationally as well as in OLMC populations at speeds of 25 Mbps and above in 2018. Broadband services at this speed bracket was not as prevalent in rural areas and First Nations reserves. While less than half of households in rural areas and First Nations reserves had broadband services available at speeds 50 Mbps and above.
In 2018, 85.8% of households in First Nations reserves were able to access broadband Internet services with a speed of at least 5 Mbps. Availability decreases to about half of the households at speeds of 25 Mbps or faster and to less than a third at speeds of 50 Mbps or faster.
Availability varied significantly across provinces and territories, with households in First Nations reserves in New Brunswick and British Columbia having the highest availability of Internet services at speeds of 50 Mbps or faster (87.2% and 69.1%, respectively), while these services were not yet available to households in First Nations reserves in the North, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Saskatchewan.
Broadband Internet services were almost universally available to all official language minority communities (OLMCs) in 2018. British Columbia and Quebec had the highest percentage of coverage of speeds greater than 50 Mbps while Nova Scotia, Prince Edwards Island, and Nunavut had the lowest, where broadband services with speeds of at least 25 Mbps were not yet available to households in OLMCs in Nunavut.
In 2018, the Commission’s target of 50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload, and unlimited capacity was available to 85.7% of all households in Canada with medium and large urban populations having nearly complete coverage and less than half (40.8%) of households in rural areas having coverage. While 31.3% of households in First Nations reserves had access to Internet services meeting the Commission’s target speed and unlimited data transfer, 89.3% of households in OLMCs had access to such services.
|Province/Territory||All||Large Population Centres||Medium Population Centres||Small Population Centres||Rural||First Nations Reserves||OLMCs|
|Prince Edward Island||60.2||n/a||100.0||100.0||31.4||29.7||60.6|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||71.2||99.8||n/a||86.0||46.1||0.0||70.2|
For the following maps, the data is available for export through the Cartovista Data panel using the Export button; the Data panel is available on the bottom left-hand side of the map. Detailed instructions on how to use Cartovista maps are available on the Cartovista website.
iv. Broadband applications
|Average wireline data usage, per hour||Average LTE data usage, per hour|
|Netflix||2.86 GB||0.32 GB|
|YouTube||4.82 GB||0.60 GB|
|CBC Radio 1||0.05 GB||0.05 GB|
|Spotify||0.05 GB||0.14 GB|
In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2016-496, the Commission established criteria to measure the successful achievement of the universal service objective, which included the availability of a fixed broadband Internet access service with at least 50 Mbps download, at least 10Mbps, as well as the option for unlimited data allowance (50/10/Unlimited).
Canadians are increasingly relying on their Internet service to receive news, share information, communicate with others, do business, and for educational and entertainment purposes.
They are using the following types of services with growing frequency: audio and video streaming, online gaming, live video conferencing, teleworking, and accessing and transferring large data files on the cloud.
The data consumption rates for these services can vary from 50 Mb per hour for audio services to 5 GB per hour for 4K video streaming.
With the number of devices connected to the home network growing, consuming more data, having an Internet service of at least 50/10/Unlimited may be necessary for Canadian households to allow multiple users to simultaneously access these types of services and to effectively participate in the digital economy and society.
Streaming services over the Internet consume data at different bitrates. The bitrates are measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabytes per hour (GB/hr). Generally, video streaming services consume data at higher bitrates than audio streaming services because the video stream contains more information.
Usually, a higher bitrate can also enable a higher-quality audio or video stream. However, depending on the end-user device, a higher-quality stream may be indistinguishable from a lower-quality stream. For example, on a smartphone, an ultra-high-definition (UHD) video stream may not show a perceivable difference when compared to a lower-resolution video stream due to the relatively small screen size.
The rates at which streaming services consume data can vary significantly. While some services allow the user to manually control their quality and how much data they use, other services are set automatically. See the Methodology section below for more details.
Figure 9.27 and Figure 9.28 illustrate the average and the range of the amount of data some streaming services can use on an hourly basis over wireline (broadband) and wireless (LTE) Internet connections, respectively.
|GB/h (Average)||Lower bitrate (GB/hr)||Upper bitrate (GB/hr)|
|CBC Radio 1||0.05||0.05||0.05|
|Avg bitrate (GB/hr)||Lower bitrate (GB/hr)||Upper bitrate (GB/hr)|
|CBC Radio 2 - Eastern||0.06||0.06||0.06|
|CBC Radio 1||0.05||0.04||0.06|
Broadband measurement: methodology
To collect data for this sub-section, the CRTC used a test environment that aims to replicate how a typical consumer would utilize online streaming and real-time communications services. The services were accessed by a typical wireline residential broadband service, and a national LTE cellular data network, using mainstream off-the-shelf consumer electronics: Android- and iOS-based tablets and phones, smart TVs, Windows-based laptop and desktop computers, and various set-top streaming devices. A web browser was used to access the streaming services on the PCs, and official applications were used on the other devices.
To measure the data consumed by these services on the wireline connection, a specially-configured Windows-based computer was inserted between the Internet connection and the local network. Using data traffic measurement tools, all data flowing between the test device and the Internet was captured for analysis. For the LTE connection, readily available applications, as well as integrated capabilities within the phones’ operating systems were used to measure the data traffic.
The maximum bitrates of the wireline and LTE Internet connections were tested, and found to be significantly higher than the maximum observed bitrates of the streaming services tested (i.e. the Internet connections did not limit the bitrate of the streams in any way). To ensure accuracy, multiple measurements were taken for each service and quality level (where this setting was available), and background data usage (i.e. the usage of background apps and services, other than the one being tested) was minimized.
Broadband measurement: observations
The streaming services deliver their data in different patterns, some with single large bursts with gaps in between, and others with more continuous data. The measurements were conducted over sufficient periods of time such that a representative average could be obtained. It should also be noted that most services can modify their burst size dynamically thus making the average rate an important factor in determining the data rate requirement for most services.
In a typical consumer scenario, the available bandwidth at any given moment can vary for numerous reasons, including resource sharing between multiple devices on a home network or moving between different coverage areas on a mobile network. Although the end-user’s Internet connection is one factor in determining the quality and stability of a stream, other factors can include network congestion, server load, network/server latency, and end-user device capability. In addition, many services can dynamically and automatically adjust their quality (and therefore the amount of data consumed) based on several factors that contribute to a stable audio and/or video stream to the end-user.
Due to the limited number of samples and the diversity of network configuration and equipment, the reported values in this section should be viewed as average-case estimates, not worst-case limits.
Internet usage: methodology
All information in the residential fixed Internet section regarding usage of gigabytes per month, and subscriptions by advertised speed and advertised download capacity, is from data collected through surveying the larger ISPs. These larger ISPs are assigned forms which report details of the residential Internet access high-speed plans that they provide and offer. These ISPs accounted for approximately 90% of the total number of residential high-speed Internet service subscriptions in 2018.
Assignment of forms/surveys is based on the size of the entity. As such, to reduce regulatory burden, small ISPs are not required to submit this information.
Broadband service availability: methodology
Broadband service availability is calculated using information provided by ISPs. For 2013 to 2015, locations were considered to be serviced if their dissemination blockFootnote 8 representative point fell within an area of broadband service coverage. As of 2016, ISED pseudo-householdsFootnote 9 are used, along with 2016 census demography. Thus, among other factors, newer, more accurate information about the extent of deployment may have slightly reduced coverage in some areas.
Broadband service availability data may not take into account capacity issues or issues regarding line of sightFootnote 10.
Mobile service availability: methodology
Between 2013 and 2017, locations were considered to be serviced if the representative point for their dissemination block fell within an area of mobile service coverage.
For 2018, ISED pseudo-households were used along with 2016 census demography. Pseudo-households are points representing the population in an area. These points are placed along roadways within each area, and the population of the area, as determined by Statistics Canada, is distributed among these points. Additional data regarding addresses and the position of dwellings is used to guide this distribution. The use of pseudo-households aims to improve the accuracy of the availability indicators rather than making an assumption that the population within an area is located at the centre of that area.
Official language minority communities
To identify official language minority communities (OLMCs) in Canada, a number of different criteria can be used. These include identifying the first language learned at home, the language spoken at home, and the language of education.
For the purposes of this report, the official language minority population is defined in terms of the first official language spoken metric as defined within the Official Languages Act, using data from the 2016 Census. In all provinces and territories except Quebec, the official language having minority status is French.
The presence of official language minority populations within a 25km area of an official minority language school was used to model and map OLMCs.
As a means of mapping OLMCs and calculating the availability of 50/10 Mbps unlimited service, a method of OLMC population placement was chosen that concentrates on areas within 25 km of official language minority schools to represent the locations of the communities. This methodology, which was developed by Canadian Heritage, was used to assign OLMC populations to areas and to calculate 50/10 Mbps unlimited availability to OLMC communities.
First Nations reserve areas
The analysis of broadband availability and availability of 50/10 Mbps unlimited service was based upon First Nations reserve areas, representing total population and dwellings on reserves according to the Statistics Canada census data and, as such, it may differ from other official sources.
Statistics Canada uses census subdivisions to represent different areas in Canada. Census subdivisions are municipalities or areas that can be equated to municipalities for statistical purposes.
The different census subdivisions used by Statistics Canada were assessed. Those that represent First Nations reserve areas were used in the data analysis and mapping of this population.
Small population centres are considered to have populations of between 1,000 and 29,999. Medium population centres are considered to have populations of between 30,000 and 99,999. Large population centres are considered to have populations greater than 100,000. Rural areas have populations of less than 1,000, or fewer than 400 people per square kilometre.
Average revenue per user (ARPU) is a measure of revenue generated per subscriber. This is calculated by dividing the whole-year total revenue by the average number of subscribers from the current and previous year. The number of subscribers is taken from year end data.
Cable-based carriers are former cable monopolies that also provide telecommunications services (e.g. wireline voice, Internet, data and private line, and wireless services). Examples of cable-based carriers include Rogers, Shaw, and Videotron.
A dissemination block is an area bounded on all sides by roads and/or boundaries of standard geographic areas. The dissemination block is the smallest geographic area for which population and dwelling counts are disseminated. Dissemination blocks cover all the territory of Canada.
The estimated number of households in Canada is calculated by dividing the 4th quarter population estimate for Canada by Statistics Canada by the population to dwelling ratio. In turn, the population to dwelling ratio is calculated by dividing the population of Canada by the number of households found in the Statistics Canada Census 2016.
Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) refers to fibre optic communication delivery system where fibre extends from a concentrator, remote or central office to a residence.
Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is the equivalent of FTTH but refers to fibre extending to a business instead of a residence.
An Incumbent Telecommunications Service Provider (TSP) is a company that provides local telecommunications services on a monopoly basis prior to the introduction of competition. Examples of incumbent TSPs include Bell, SaskTel and TELUS. They also include small incumbent TSPs such as Sogetel and Execulink.
An independent Internet service provider (ISP) refers to ISPs that are not cable-based carriers or incumbent TSPs.
Official Language Minority Population refers to English speaking population in Quebec and French-speaking population in the rest of Canada. More than two million Canadians belong to an official language minority community.
Other facilities-based carriers refers to providers of telecommunications services that are not incumbent providers but which own and operate telecommunications networks. Examples of other facilities-based carriers include Xplornet and Allstream Business.
Pseudo-households refers to points representing the population in an area. These points are placed along roadways within each area, and the population of the area, determined by Statistics Canada, is distributed among these points. Additional data regarding addresses and the position of dwellings is used to guide this distribution.
The use of pseudo-households aims to improve the accuracy of the availability indicators over the use of the assumption that the population within an area is located at the centre of the area.
Wholesale-based service providers or non-facilities-based service carriers refers to companies that generally acquire telecommunications services from other providers and either resell those services or create their own network from which to provide services to their customers. A company that owns a small number of facilities but has the vast majority of its operations on leased facilities may also be classified as non-facilities-based. Examples of wholesale-based service providers and non-facilities-based carriers include Distributel and TekSavvy.
A reserve refers to land set aside by the federal government through the Indian Act or through treaties for the use of a specific band or First Nation. The band council has "exclusive user rights" to the land, but the land is "owned" by the Crown. The Indian Act states that this land cannot be owned by individual band members.
Contents of the Report
- Communications Services in Canadian Households: Subscriptions and Expenditures 2013-2017
- 2018 Communications Services Pricing in Canada
- Communications Industry Overview: Telecommunications and Broadcasting
- Broadcasting Overview
- Radio Sector
- Television Sector
- Broadcasting Distribution Sector
- Telecommunications Overview
- Retail Fixed Internet Sector and Broadband Availability
- Retail Mobile Sector
Go directly to:
|Report Section||Open Data|
|Communications Services in Canadian Households: Subscriptions and Expenditures 2013-2017||Households data|
|2018 Communications Services Pricing in Canada||Pricing data|
|Communications Overview||Communications Overview data|
|Broadcasting Overview||Broadcasting Overview data|
|Radio Sector||Radio data|
|Television Sector||Television data|
|Broadcasting Distribution Sector||BDU data|
|Telecommunications Overview||Telecommunications Overview data|
|Retail Fixed Internet Sector and Broadband Availability||Internet data|
|Retail Mobile Sector||Mobile data|
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