A new report in the Toronto Star has some very interesting information about internet usage in Canada. Not surprisingly, more and more people are using the internet and the amount of bandwidth they consume at home and on the move each month is also on the rise. The average Canadian now uses over 120 GB of data at home, plus more than 1GB on each of their mobile devices. This will undoubtedly go up as more and more people continue to ditch basic cable in favour of streaming.
With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, plus Video on Demand and so much video content on other sites, it’s no wonder that these figures are as high as they are. This is certainly a very profitable situation for the telecom companies, though while they are happily cashing in by regularly raising prices, we are not seeing a whole lot of movement on their part to invest in expanding their services.
Not only will more people continue to demand high speed data, the delivery also needs to be faster. High definition video is compressed when streaming, but can still take up a lot of data. The new 4K Ultra Hi-Def format, even presented in such a compromised form, will require even more. Again, we are not seeing much action by providers to ensure that the infrastructure is there to ensure proper delivery. This is especially true in rural areas and the more remote parts of Canada, though the government is reportedly helping out with a financial incentive there.
Alas, the government is doing little to curtail the rising prices for the internet. Canada ranks second, behind only the United States, as the most expensive for what is becoming a basic service for a very large percentage of the world population. And that needs to change.