Almost Half of Canadians Would Order Internet over Fries: CIRA

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According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), almost half of Canada’s internet users are willing to give up fast food to maintain their internet connection. The findings, which were featured in Canada’s Internet Factbook – a report published annually that covers Canada’s cyber security, internet, e-commerce and online habits of Canadians –46% of Canada’s internet users would rather pass on fries for 365 days than lose their connection to the World Wide Web.

Canada’s Internet Factbook also featured other amazing stats such as: 26 percent of the internet users would rather forgo coffee for a year than lose the internet; 31 percent were willing to pass on chocolate and 34 percent were willing to cease consuming alcohol for the duration of one year. These statistics show the extent to which Canadians have become reliant on the internet.

Out of 87 percent of the Canadian internet users who had a broadband connection; 81 percent reported satisfaction with their broadband speeds at home. 54 percent believed their Internet Service Provider was providing decent internet connectivity i.e. were getting good value for their money, while only 17 percent of these users signaled discontent and a likelihood to move to another ISP within three months.

On a related note, 7 out of 10 Canadians spend 3 hours online per day. Mobile device usage in accessing the internet surged by 9 percent to hit the 67 percent mark in 2017. This puts mobile devices in second place behind laptops/desktops which are the preferred choice by many constituting 90 percent of Canada’s internet users. Only a mere 2% accessed the internet via a voice controlled device.

Despite the government’s recent declaration of high-speed internet as a necessity and setting a target for Canadians to access at least 50Mbps of download speed and 10Mbps of upload speed, this goal is far from being achieved according to a survey by CIRA and MLab. The two bodies found that the average Canadian accesses the internet at 10Mbps upload speeds and 19.69Mbps download speeds. Possible reasons cited for this variance is the lack of high speed broadband in some areas of Canada particularly in the rural areas. Another contributing factor is the high cost of broadband in Canada. Among the developed nations Canada ranks among the highest in terms of broadband prices.

According to a Nordicity study, Canada ranked 3rd when it came to the pricing of broadband of speeds between 3 and 9 Mbps. This is behind the U.S and Australia. For speeds between 10 and 15 Mbps; Canada ranked 4th behind U.S, France and Italy. While for speeds of 100Mbps and above, Canada ranked 2nd just behind the U.S. This is however anticipated to change as the internet overhaul initiative continues to progress leading to widespread broadband use across Canada. The rules governing ISPs and data are also expected to change as the program advances to ensure the industry keeps up with the evolving data landscape. The result will be friendlier prices as even more players join the industry.

Other stats from Canada’s Internet Factbook include:

® Online purchases from mobile phones have tripled since 2014. (From12 percent to 36 percent)

® 57 percent of internet users in Canada are unaware that the majority of Canada’s internet infrastructure navigates through the U.S.

® Almost 75 percent of Canadians will not consider purchasing a home in an area where high-speed broadband is not available.

® Approximately 8 in 10 Canadians have made at least one online purchase in the year 2017.

® 44 percent of the Canadian internet users are unlikely to purchase items online from an organization that has been targeted by a major cyber attack.

The data collected in Canada’s Internet Factbook is meant to spur discussions that will lead to a better online Canada as well as innovations across the country. According to CIRA’s president, Byron Holland, the data the organization provides is also meant to influence policy decisions, innovation and funding to ensure Canadians get the internet landscape they deserve and want.

CIRA’s vice president in charge of communications and marketing, David Fowler, echoed these sentiments by referring to one of the statistics provided. Based on the data, Canadian businesses need to prioritize getting protections against cyber threats otherwise they risk losing almost half of their customer base.

Similarly, Canadian retailers can benefit by learning that the vast majority of Canadians are now making purchases online instead of making in-store visits. This information should spur the retailers to establish an online presence and institute web marketing campaigns to increase their market share.

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