Canada ranks number one out of 75 countries when it comes to the cost of Internet access relative to income and the amount of competition in the marketplace, according to a report by The Economist.

“Canada stands out as the top-ranked country for affordability, given its very strong competitive environment for both wireless and broadband,” The Economist states on its website. “The country’s overall rank is lower, however, at 8th out of 75. It is held back by a low Readiness ranking (34th out of 75) despite high literacy scores.”

In terms of affordability, Canada’s Internet providers actually ranked 12 out of 75 overall. That ranking is a composite of rankings for costs of a smartphone (12th), mobile phone prepaid (22nd), mobile phone postpaid (29th), and fixed broadband (11th). But Canada’s competitive environment is ranked first by The Economist, which it says is a measure of the concentration of the marketplace for Internet service provision. Canada ranks first in all the areas compositing competition including average revenue per user, wireless operators’ market share, and broadband operators’ market share.

A chart by The Economist puts Canada on top of Internet affordability when controlled for income and competition. Click image for larger version.

Canada fares less well in other rankings done by The Economist, coming in 12th out of 75 for the availability of infrastructure that provides access and usage of Internet services. It ranks fifth is relevance for local language content and relevant content.

The point of doing the rankings, says The Economist, is to track what factors lead to more people receiving the benefits of Internet connectivity. Even in rich countries, large portions of the population are left unconnected in the 21st century.

“There is more to inclusion that Internet availability. Most of the world’s leaders in building connectivity are also strong in supporting other enablers of Internet inclusion, namely Affordability, Relevance and Readiness,” it states in its executive study for The Inclusive Internet: Mapping Progress 2017. Still, “inclusion starts with widescale availability.”

Last August, a Nordicity Group Ltd. report commissioned by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions (CRTC) rated Canada’s Internet affordability at different “levels” defined by download speeds. It found Canada was behind the U.S. in every category, though it ranked second for the top level, for broadband speeds more than 100 Mbps. It ranked third for speed between 3 and 9 Mpbs, and fourth for speeds between 10 to 15 Mbps.

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