CRTC report shows more Canadians are adopting broadband Internet and wireless services

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, July 28, 2011 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued its annual Communications Monitoring Report providing an overview of the Canadian telecommunications and broadcasting industries. The report reveals that by the end of 2010, the number of Canadian households subscribing to broadband Internet services rose by 9.2% to approximately 9 million, while the number of Canadians subscribing to wireless services grew by 8.5% to 25.8 million.

“It is encouraging to see Canadians taking up broadband Internet and wireless services in such large numbers,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “This not only signals a strong participation in the digital economy, but is also a clear indication that Canadians are increasingly using a variety of platforms to communicate and access content and services.”

Between 2009 and 2010, overall revenues for the communications industry increased by 3.6%, or from $55.3 billion to $57.4 billion. Revenues for telecommunications services grew by 1.8% to reach $41.7 billion for the year, while those for broadcasting services climbed by 8.9% to $15.7 billion.


Growth in the telecommunications industry was driven by newer services, including broadband Internet services and wireless services.


Broadband Internet

The CRTC’s report found that 77% of the 13.4 million households in Canada had an Internet subscription, with many subscribers preferring higher download speeds. The percentage of households with an Internet connection featuring download speeds of at least 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) jumped from 62% to 70% in one year. Additionally, subscriptions to Internet download speeds of at least 5 Mbps rose from 44% to 52%.

A broadband Internet connection allows users to stream and download high-quality audiovisual content, and access online government, health and educational services. With an average of 5.5 Mbps, Canada ranked second only to Japan in an international comparison of Internet download speeds.

During 2010, the average residential broadband user downloaded 14.8 gigabytes per month, which is the equivalent of viewing more than 20 movies.


Wireless services

In 2010, advanced wireless networks that support smartphones and other devices that connect to the Internet extended to 97% of the Canadian population. Adoption of wireless services continued to grow as the number of subscribers increased by 8.5% to 25.8 million. This contrasts with the number of subscribers to home telephone services, which decreased by 0.9% to 12.6 million.

New competitors began making inroads in the major Canadian markets, capturing 25% of new subscribers. Although they offered mostly prepaid subscriptions, their competitive presence contributed to a reduction in the average revenue per user from $58.81 to $57.86 per month.


After revenues for conventional television and radio stations declined in 2009, all sectors of the broadcasting industry experienced growth in 2010. Pay and specialty television revenues increased by 11.1%, conventional television stations by 9.9%, broadcasting distribution by 8.9% and commercial radio stations by 2.9%.

Although Canadians are increasingly accessing broadcasting content on the platform of their choice, the most popular devices are by far televisions and radios. In 2010, Canadians watched an average of 28 hours of television and listened to 17.6 hours of radio each week. In contrast, anglophone and francophone Canadians spent 2.6 hours and 1.5 hours, respectively, watching television programming online. Both linguistic groups also spent 4.8 hours per week streaming radio programming.

In addition, the number of Canadians who watched a video on their cellphone nearly doubled to 9% of anglophones and 4% of francophones.

In 2010, the broadcasting industry contributed more than $2.9 billion to the creation of Canadian programming.


CRTC Communications Monitoring Report


The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.


- 30 -

Media Relations:
MediaRelations, Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245

General Inquiries:
   Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
   Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
   TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
   Ask a question or make a complaint

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

Additional information on the 2011 Communications Monitoring Report

The Communications Monitoring Report contains broadcasting data for the year ended August 31, 2010 and telecommunication data for the year ended December 31, 2010. The report reflects the steady growth experienced by the broadcasting and telecommunications industries.


Broadcasting highlights




Broadcasting distribution

New media broadcasting

Telecommunications highlights


Revenues, expenditures and penetration

Wireless telephone services

Internet services

Local and long-distance telephone services

Date modified: