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It is so close and yet we know so little about Canadian broadband situation. Apparently, the broadband penetration north of the border is a whopping 20 percentage points higher than US. As of March 2005, Canadians enjoy a broadband penetration rate of 77%, while only 57% […]

It is so close and yet we know so little about Canadian broadband situation. Apparently, the broadband penetration north of the border is a whopping 20 percentage points higher than US. As of March 2005, Canadians enjoy a broadband penetration rate of 77%, while only 57% of the wired US population has broadband. In May, U.S. broadband penetration crept up by 0.36 percentage points to 58.82% among active Internet users. Maybe it is because they have fewer homes. More here

  1. Om,

    More likely it is because Canada has an aggressive government-funded program to connect rural Canadians to broadband. It is called the BRAND program — Broadband for Rural And Northern Development.

    For example, I live in Yukon, one of our northern territories where slightly more than 30,000 people live in an area of more than 480,000 square km. Per capita, we have the most access to broadband of anywhere in Canada. All our communities, some as small as 50 people, are connected.

    For northerners, broadband can reduce our isolation, allowing people in isolated communities to take a college course or to consult a medical specialist, for example. And of course, it is important for commerce and businesses.

    Regards,
    Anthony
    Whitehorse, Yukon

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  2. Also, Canada has a higher penetration rate of cable then the US. Up until the early 1990’s Cable TV was split up into regional monopolies so it was in the interest of the cable companies to roll out cable everywhere. Even though those monopolies have been broken down, the infrastructure still exists in every home so cable broadband access is very high.

    Like Anthony from the Yukon pointed out as well, the Canadian government has been very pro-active with ensuring Canadians in rural communities are catered for as well. Its something the Australian government is unsuccessfully dealing with for a number of reasons. The Canadian government has been involved with widescale communications infrastructure deployments for a very long time – it is a matter of nationalism, the US culture is so overpowering that the Canadian government figured the only way to combat it was to have a strong telecommunications infrastructure providing Canadians access to Canadian content. In Australia, they lack that large overwhelming neighbour so the government hasn’t had the motivating factor to roll out high quality infrastructure to rural and regional Australia. Now however, as part of the Telstra sell-off (funny how these things interconnect) the rural and regional vote is very important and a large portion of the funds from the Telstra sale will go to improving telecomms infrastructure in “the bush.”

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  3. This is more likely explained by the fact that over 76% of Canadians live in urban centers, especially Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Wiring up what amounts to a few hundred square miles is a lot different from trying to wire the United States. Keep in mind that Canada has about the population of California, essentially concentrated into three large cities.

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  4. [...] e have what you want–more internet connectivity. Om points to an interested article about how Canada’s internet high spe [...]

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  5. I keep telling ya this, Om!

    In Ontario, 4 or 5Mbps broadband connections into the home is not unusual. VDSL is making a big splash here. Aliant has just rolled out IPTV in Halifax. The first all-optical backbone was made in Canada (CA*Net 3).

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  6. But how do they define broadband? I read somewhere that the Canadian Government has a lower benchmark for what “broadband” acutally is. This could be where the ipsos reid guys get their info…

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