Canada’s third-world upload speeds visualized

10 Feb

canada-uploadsIt’s more fun with maps today as we visualize Canada’s broadband upload speeds, which is perhaps a timely effort given that rural and remote infrastructure will be part of the federal government’s budget announcement on Tuesday. In the map above, I’ve matched the average upload speed that internet users receive in each province or territory with the corresponding average upload speeds of individual countries. All of the numbers come from Ookla’s Net Index, which ranks Canada’s national upload speed average of 5.2 Megabits per second poorly at 53rd overall. That’s below the the global average of 7.5 Mbps and the G8 average of 8.7 Mbps. As the map above indicates, Canada is very much a developing country when it comes to upload speeds. Upload capability is important for everything from cloud services to sharing photos and videos on Facebook and YouTube. In the remote parts of northern Canada, poor upload speeds essentially mean that business simply isn’t happening on the internet.


Posted by on February 10, 2014 in internet


6 responses to “Canada’s third-world upload speeds visualized

  1. mark

    February 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Very interesting chart. Does the data in the report differentiate between what is available to purchase vs. what people actually buy? I know I could buy 100mbps down and 20mbps up, but it would cost me $70 a month vs. the 25 I pay for 15/5. I consider myself a heavy user, I download copious amounts of stuff and upload backups to blackblaze, and find this sufficient.

    • Peter Nowak

      February 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Good point. Ookla’s stats can actually be used as a proxy for affordability. Much higher upload speeds are indeed available throughout much of Canada but they are too expensive for most people, which is why the averages on the map above are so low.

  2. Larry

    February 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Tell me about it. Paying $73.50 per month for 10mbps down and 1mbps up on DSL. Live in rural AB. Same service in the city would be approx $50.00 from Telus.

    Prior to that was paying slightly less for average 3mbps down and 512k bps.from a wireless ISP and that was on a good day with no wind or rain.

    I don’t believe the Government will do anything. Not sure they have the balls to stand up to the corporate gougers.

  3. Laura

    February 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    It’s sad, really. This takes an average, but here in rural Nova Scotia, we’re lucky to get 1.5 down and 0.5 up. There are many people still stuck on dial-up – and even if you can get “high speed”, the companies don’t guarantee any speeds at any time.

    And if your signal gets dropped often (because it’s wireless, fed from various towers around the mainland), the provider will tell you “too bad – get someone else to provide you internet” because there is no other option. And we pay $55/mo for this.

    It’d be interesting to know the worst case average (what do people outside urban centers put up with across Canada?). You know, those areas where there is little to no competition (okay, technically almost any place should be able to get satellite service).

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