Canadian Broadband Blasted by Harvard Study
The 232-page study, commissioned by American regulators and released Wednesday evening, found that Canada rates poorly compared to peer countries when measures such as national broadband adoption, network capacity and prices are taken into account.
Canada was 22nd overall out of 30 countries surveyed by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Canada ranked 16th on broadband adoption, 20th on speed and capacity, and 25th on price. Japan, Sweden and South Korea headed up Harvard’s rankings, while the United States placed above Canada at 13th overall.
Canada “is often thought of as a very high performer, based on the most commonly used benchmark of penetration per 100 inhabitants,” the study said. “Because our analysis includes important measures on which Canada has had weaker outcomes ? prices, speeds and 3G mobile broadband penetration ? in our analysis it shows up as quite a weak performer, overall.”
Canada has taken a “half-hearted” approach to open access, which enables a new entrant company to lease lines from a network owner to provide its own internet services to customers. The CRTC implemented open-access rules in 1997, but the report said the commission messed them up by allowing network owners to charge the highest lease rates in the developed world, about 70 per cent higher than similar fees in South Korea and Denmark.