Canadians demanding even more data, higher speeds in 2016

Canadians’ data usage on their wireless devices and over their home Internet connections continues to climb, according to the CRTC’s 2017 Communications Monitoring Report.

Canadians are adopting mobile broadband service at a rapid rate. In 2016, there were 3 million more mobile broadband subscriptions than the previous year, a 13.3% increase. Canadians used an average of 1.2 gigabytes (GB) of data per month on their wireless devices, a 25% increase from 2015. More than a quarter of those who subscribed to a monthly data plan had at least 5 GB of data.

Many young people are turning to their wireless device to watch TV. Forty-one percent of 18-34 year olds use their smartphones to watch TV online, compared to 11% of Canadians aged 50-64 years old and 4% of Canadians aged 65 and over. Other popular activities included accessing the Internet, emails and social media networks.

At the same time Canadians are also increasing the data and speed of their home Internet connections. In 2016, monthly data usage (downloads and uploads) increased by 23.4% to reach 128.3 GB. Over the last five years, Canadians monthly data consumption increased by an average of 40% each year.

In addition, 26% of subscribers had chosen a download speed of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps). Five years ago, only 3.6% of Canadians subscribed to this speed tier. More and more Canadians have the option to subscribe to this speed tier. By the end of 2016, 84% of Canadians had access to download speeds of at least 50 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps on fixed broadband Internet services.

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