Nowak: Canadian broadband through rose-coloured glasses

By Peter Nowak

The CRTC released its annual Communications Monitoring Report last week and, as usual, the document shows Canada to have a very healthy – and wealthy – telecom and broadcast industry. Revenues and subscribers are up pretty much across the board and everyone is happy.

Right? Of course not.

Among the more notable items in the report are some claims – and omissions – made about broadband internet services. Given the overly glossy presentation of some of the findings it sure looks like the CRTC is guilty of some serious PR spin, which is somewhat alarming because it’s not something a supposedly neutral regulator should be doing.

The report paints a rosy picture of broadband internet services, suggesting that prices and speeds compare very well against other countries. According to the summary, “With an average of 5.5 Mbps, Canada ranked second only to Japan in an international comparison of internet download speeds.”

If you’re currently drinking something, now is the time to spit it out all over the screen. Only in the halcyon world of the CRTC, where the sky is purple and pigs can fly, could that claim possibly be true. Read more »

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