Victoria might think of itself as a tech city, but at least one leading resource on Canada’s digital infrastructure challenges this narrative.
According to a 2016 report from Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Victoria ranks 20th among 25 Canadian cities when it comes to experiencing the Internet. Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal claim the first three spots, while Whitehorse, Winnipeg and Regina round out the foot of the table.
The ranking takes into account various factors such as speed, quality, and future-readiness to create a single score for Internet performance.
British Columbia, however, has seen improvements as a whole. Whereas the average download speed of B.C. accounts reached 16.6 megabites per second in 2016, it more than doubled by 2017 to 34.5. This said, New Brunswick continues to lead Canada, with an average download speed of 39.6 Mbps.
Overall, the data shows a distinct rural-urban gap. Whereas urban areas of Canada record an average download speed of 22.92 Mbps, rural parts reach 11.15 Mbps, suggesting a digital divide, according to a 2018 CIRA report.
Canadians themselves have recognized this, and have pushed for additional improvements. But time is ticking on those efforts. The CRTC has set a deadline of 2021 to ensure all Canadians regardless of where they live have access to broadband download speeds of at least 50 Mbps.
So far, not a single province comes close to meeting this goal.