Communications infrastructure a key economic driver

February 10, 2014

 Alternative Federal Budget 2014. Communications Chapter.

 Excerpt only.  Click here for full version 

For full version  of AFB see:  Alternative Federal Budget 2014

According to statistics released in 2013 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada needs to ramp up investment in this sector. Currently in 9th place with 72.2% of households connected to the Internet -- one up from the previous year, Canada is behind the leader South Korea (97.5%) and all 5 of the Scandinavian countries but still ahead of the U.K. (69.5%) and the U.S. (68.2%) However, in terms of actual speed of broadband connections and price of these connections, Canada is lagging much further behind – placing 19th among the same list of countries. Countries high on the list of speed and pricing are also rapidly increasing their adoption of fibre optic networks. Here again, Canada is falling steadily behind – at 0.6 fibre subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as compared to the U.K. with 1.7, Sweden with 10.9, and South Korea leading the way with 22.3 per 100 inhabitants. In order to participate fully in the Information Age, Canada needs to move beyond the current 20th century policy strategy towards communications infrastructure.  ..... more