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article imageReport: Canadian Internet performance lagging behind

By Gordon K. Chan     Feb 22, 2010 in Technology
Harvard University has released a report that puts Canada on a list of countries with the slowest and most expensive Internet access. Described as a "weak performer", the study placed Canada 19th out of 30.
In a recent study, when compared to others around the globe, the great majority of Canadians are said to have access to Internet offerings with the "slowest speeds and the highest prices."
Reported in the CBC, the study looked into broadband Internet with several criteria including household and population penetration, speed and price.
Notably in one category, Canada finished near-last, positioned 18th out of 19, in next-generation Internet speeds of which are 35 mbps or faster.
One Canadian professor frankly remarks that the rest of the world gets far better deals with faster speeds.
The report attributes Canada's lagging performance to the rest of the world to "regulatory hesitation" and "over-reliance on competition between telephone and cable companies".
Moreover, Canada discourages competition with the highest new access rates amongst all countries in this study, effectively blocking competition, and leaving consumers with few choices.
It was pointed out that these reasons to make it very difficult for Internet to "sustain high penetration or achieve high capacity and low competitive prices."
The Globe and Mail calls for an improved national strategy and to act with haste, otherwise, "the innovations that could employ our future work force could well pass us by."
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