This picture will make sense by the end of the post.
The folks at Ookla have released their latest Net Index broadband comparisons, so we all know what that means: it’s time for Fun With Charts (patent pending)! It’s also time for bad news for Canada, which is something that anyone who follows this stuff should be used to by now. But first, a note on Ookla’s methodology.
The Seattle-based company bills its results as more accurate than similar reports because of the billions of tests it has accumulated from broadband users around the world. While other organizations such as Akamai measure the speed and quality of content traveling across internet connections, Ookla says its methods are more fulsome. From its website:
Our download speed results tend to report higher than others for one very simple reason: We use a sophisticated method to completely ‘fill the pipe’ while others do a mere basic replication of what speeds you might see if you download a large file from a web site. This inferior method fails to take into account that even a single computer can and usually is performing multiple downloads of one type or another simultaneously, not to mention that many connections have more than one computer or device utilizing the bandwidth available.
Personally, I’m a fan of Ookla’s various measuring tools. The first thing I do when trying a new wi-fi connection is fire up its Speedtest app to get an idea of what I’m dealing with (I’m a nerd that way). Are its results better than others? That’s hard to say, but as a frequent user I’m inclined to respect them.
So, let’s start with the lone bit of good news for Canadians. According to the Net Index, broadband subscribers here are generally getting what they pay for. Canada ranks 24th out of 64 countries, with 94 per cent of connections getting their promised speed – that’s comfortably above the world average of 87 per cent. But Canada looks even better when compared to peer countries. Among the 32 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development measured, it ranks ninth. Among the six G7 nations represented, Canada is first, although both Japan and South Korea are strangely missing from all but the straight-up speed measures. Check out the chart: Read the rest of this entry »