Internet Speeds: Canada Versus The World


Update 1: Check out this unreal website, at via @UsageBasedBill:

Our coverage of User-Based Billing (UBB) has resulted in the CRTC’s decision to implement this for Internet to be delayed thanks to you (415,000+). With some of the most expensive Internet bandwidth in the world, how do speeds in Canada compare with countries around the globe?

The CBC used data from to compile the following graphs of Internet upload and download speeds, comparing Canada versus the world:

Interesting details:

  • Download speeds: Canada comes 36th in terms of average download speed, at 9.52 megabits per second (Mbps). The US is ranked 31st, the UK, 29th.
  • Upload speeds: Canada is in 64th spot globally, at 1.35Mbps, behind smaller countries with less developed infrastructures, including:
  • Mozambique, ranked 62nd, at 1.41Mbps.
  • Swaziland, ranked 61st, at 1.43Mbps.
  • Kenya, ranked 58th, at 1.52 Mbps.
  • Kazakhstan, ranked 40th, at 2.10Mbps.
  • Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society ranked Canada 25th out of 30 countries in a report that looked at pricing for services ranging from low-speed to high-speed connectivity.

CRTC Chairman Grilled by Commons Committee

CRTC chairman, Konrad von Finckenstein, appeared before a Commons Committee yesterday to justify and explain his decision over UBB. Here are some quotes from him:

…In light of these requests and the evident concerns expressed by Canadians, the Commission has decided to: Delay the implementation of usage-based billing for wholesale customers by at least 60 days…

…I would like to reiterate the Commission’s view that usage-based billing is a legitimate principle for pricing Internet services. We are convinced that Internet services are no different than other public utilities, and the vast majority of Internet users should not be asked to subsidize a small minority of heavy users. For us, it is a question of fundamental fairness. Let me restate: ordinary users should not be forced to subsidize heavy users.

…and here’s one more delightful video–Bell and the CRTC (NSFW; language):

You have to love living in Canada.

[Globe and Mail, CBC]


  • Those must be average speeds because I know of consumer level services that are faster than what’s being shown for South Korea. Mine in particular is 70Mbps down and 15Mbps up with the option to go to 170 down and 35 up.

  • Those must be average speeds because I know of consumer level services that are faster than what’s being shown for South Korea. Mine in particular is 70Mbps down and 15Mbps up with the option to go to 170 down and 35 up.

  • Jealous!

  • If the CRTC wants to use the “ordinary users should not be forced to subsidize heavy users” argument, will they force ISP’s to lower prices for those that use less? Didn’t think so.

  • Doobi

    “Our coverage of User-Based Billing (UBB) has resulted in the CRTC’s decision…to be delayed”
    Good to see you being so modest Gary.

  • Flaxx

    haha! I LOVE the video’s analogies to movie theatres and cruise ships!! That is EXACTLY how stupid the telco/CRTC’s analogies are of the internet being consumable utilities like electricity/gas/water! Brilliant video!

  • Flaxx

    So jealous!

  • Anonymous

    These averages cannot be for only consumers. Here in Quebec (Canada’s second largest market), consumer upload speeds of higher than 1mbps are rare.
    Also, the US numbers also seem skewed by all the people there that live under the poverty line and have dial-up/super cheap DSL.
    For the prices we pay for 5/1 DSL here, you can get 20/20 there.

  • Sparky

    Are you sure that’s not advertised speed. When I had highspeed Internet, the advertised speed was much higher than actual speed.

  • randomrazr

    the reason for our internet speed is not up to par with other countries is our HUGE land mass.

    its cheaper for japan to hook everyone up since there basically on islands and short distance

    canada us HUGE and takes alot of cables etc etc to connect everyone and upgrade services.

  • Upload speed of more than 1mbps is not rare… It’s too expensive…

    I have a TGV60 connection with Videotron… I’m getting 62/3 measured speed…
    This service is available nearly everywhere where Videotron has some coverage which mean at least 50% of the population in Quebec…

    But at 82.95+taxes/month, its very expensive!

  • Noahattic

    What does him mean by delay at least 60 days? So CTRC can get some time to mindbrush ppl and get it approved later?? What a nice workaround!!

    Why don’t you just lower your sevice fee for the ordinary users instead? Funny thing is the ordinary user will end up paying even more by using UBB.

    It’s shame that we are paying one of the most expensive internet service fee but get the one of the poorest service.

    Actually I guess we were all wrong. We should have protested to ban CRTC instead!! They are doing no good for consumers!

  • Anonymous

    That has absolutely nothing to do with it in urban centres. All of the cable is already there and Roger’s provides 50mbit in some provinces and 75 in others. Videotron provides similar speeds in quebec. There are a few legitimate reasons behind why our upload speeds are low, and some illegitimate ones as well. There is no excuse to why 75% of our population can’t have service like the rest of the world at an affordable price. Let’s face it, 10-15mbit is plenty enough speed for most average families, it’s the 25GB or 60GB cap that is not sufficient. Data costs nothing, therein lies our main problem.

  • Wuju007

    Totally agree. CRTC simply helping the other guys to take our hard earn money!

  • Dave

    god can you stop using that d@*&b and misinformed excuse? every rogers and Bell customer service has been told to tell the costumers exactly what you said, DUDE its a pile of B S! the internet exist only in populated areas and i’m billion % sure the cable and wire/whatever is not place and replace every week its installed its there and they already made billion in profit so what you say is a LAME nonesence excuse used by the companies

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  • Where did the above graphic come from showing cost of data? Why quote the ADSL data for Teksaavy? They have a cable offer for $28 / mth with a 200 GB cap and an unlimited for $55 / mth , i.e. far cheaper than anything from Bell or Rogers and yet the graphic would suggest Teksavvy is more expensive?.

  • All sources are within the post, if you read it.