TORONTO – Affordability is among the top Internet service concerns for Canadians, especially those living in rural areas, a new report has found.
One out of three Canadians is satisfied with the cost of their home Internet, according to a report commissioned by Canada’s broadcast regulator.
Two out of three Canadians believe that telecommunications prices should be comparable in urban and rural settings. People in rural locations tend to pay more for Internet and were more likely to have cut back on Internet use over the past 12 months.
Overall, one out of five Canadians limited their web use over the past year, the report found. Most often this was due to Internet service or equipment costs, or capacity constraints.
It’s crucial for Canadians to have access to basic telecommunications services, said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman and CEO of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The CRTC will hold public hearings on the issue in Gatineau, Que., from April 11-29 as part of its ongoing consultation on basic telecom services, launched by the federal agency last April.
OpenMedia, an advocacy group, said the survey results are unfortunate but not surprising.
Canadians pay some of the highest Internet rates in the world, said the group’s Josh Tabish in a statement.
CRTC commissioned a report from EKOS Research Associates based on the answers of more than 30,000 Canadians to a questionnaire. The research group also questioned another 1,600 Canadians, who were a sample group representative of the country’s population.