Just how connected are Canadians to the Internet?
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) annual report, Canada’s Internet Factbook 2019, found in a survey that 85 per cent of Canadians had not spent more than one-week offline in the last year, and only one in five had even disconnected for eight consecutive hours.
“The Internet has transformed every aspect of our lives – mostly for the better. Our challenge moving forward is to develop a healthy relationship with the Internet and harness it to improve the lives of all Canadians,” said Byron Holland, president and CEO of CIRA, in a news release.
CIRA said the key findings from the report are:
- boomers are embracing smartphones – the percentage of those 55-plus who browse the web using mobile devices has increased from 24 per cent in 2015 to 57 per cent in 2019;
- three-quarters of Canadians surf the Internet while watching TV;
- 46 per cent of Canadians admit to using their mobile device in the bathroom;
- the Internet is changing every aspect of our lives:
- nine per cent completed their education online;
- 16 per cent found a home online;
- 22 per cent found a job online;
- 10 per cent found their spouse online;
- 64 per cent say they buy Canadian;
- 45 per cent of respondents provide informal tech support for others in their family;
- seven in 10 Internet users say they would be unlikely to purchase a home in an area that didn’t have high-speed Internet;
- New Brunswick has lost its crown for having the fastest average internet speeds in Canada. Both British Columbia (52.28 Mbps) and Alberta (52.14 Mbps) surpassed New Brunswick (50.41 Mbps) in 2019;
- Quebecers are the most likely to seek out Canadian content online with 22 per cent saying they often or always do so; British Columbians are least likely with 39 per cent indicating they never or almost never look for Canadian content online;
- average download speeds in urban households are rapidly outpacing rural homes; between 2018 and 2019, average download speeds in urban areas more than doubled, while rural download speeds grew just over one-and-a-half times.
“We see major leaps in Internet connectivity happening all across the country but we still have a ways to go. Considering how critical fast, reliable internet access is to our economy, our communities and our lives, we must keep pushing to ensure Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast are well connected,” said Jacques Latour, chief technology officer at CIRA.