CRTC issues annual report on the state of the Canadian communication system

Ottawa-Gatineau, September 26, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued the 2013 edition of itsCommunications Monitoring Report, which provides an overview of the Canadian communication system.
“This year’s edition of the report contains a wealth of information and is intended to assist those that participate in our public proceedings,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “It is interesting to note that Canadians’ habits are evolving. More Canadians than ever are watching and listening to content on their computers, smartphones and tablets, yet the vast majority of programming is still accessed through traditional television and radio services.”
“While Canadians generally are well-served by their communication system, the Commission must remain vigilant and responsive to emerging trends and issues,” Mr. Blais added. “Canadians in rural parts of our country, and especially in the North, do not enjoy the same telecommunications services as those living in urban centres. We are working to provide those Canadians with an even greater choice.”
Canadians are accessing more content on different platforms
In 2012, Canadians spent almost the same amount of time listening to the radio and watching television as they did the previous year. They listened to an average of 17.5 hours of radio each week, compared to17.7 hours in 2011. Canadians also watched an average of 28.2 hours of television per week, down slightly from 28.5 hours. Collectively, they watched 931.3 million hours of television per week, 48.9% of which were Canadian programs.
At the same time, more than two out of four Canadians owned a smartphone and more than one out of four owned a tablet. Canadians used these devices, as well as computers and laptops, to access programming on digital platforms.
Thirty-three percent of Canadians watched Internet television; typical users watched 3 hours of Internet television per week, an increase from 2.8 hours in 2011. Six percent of Canadians watched programming on a tablet or smartphone, while 4% report watching television programming exclusively online.
In addition, 20% of Canadians streamed the signal of an AM or FM station over the Internet, 14% streamed audio content on a smartphone, 13% streamed a personalized Internet music service and 8% streamed audio on a tablet.
Overall, anglophones spent 20.1 hours per week online, while francophones spent 13 hours per week online.
In 2012, the broadcasting industry contributed $3.4 billion to the creation and promotion of Canadian programming, an increase of $263 million from the previous year.
Canadians are adopting smartphones and faster Internet services
Canadian families spent an average of $185 each month on communications services in 2012, compared to $181 the previous year. In particular, Canadians consumed more wireless data and subscribed to Internet services featuring higher broadband speeds.
Wireless services
Over 99% of Canadian households subscribed to either a wireless or home telephone service.
In 2012, there were 27.9 million Canadian wireless subscribers, an increase of 1.8% in one year, with an average of two wireless subscriptions per household. During the previous four years, the number of new subscribers had grown by an annual rate of 6% to 9%. Canadian families spent an average of $67 per month on wireless services, up from $61 the previous year.
While the three largest wireless companies accounted for 92% of all revenues, the smaller wireless companies increased their market share from 4% in 2011 to 5% in 2012. The reach of faster wireless networks, known as Long Term Evolution or LTE networks, continued to spread across the country. The number of Canadians that could access these networks jumped from 45% to 72%.
Home telephone services
Fewer Canadians had a traditional telephone in their homes, as the number of residential subscribers decreased by 2.1% to 11.9 million in 2012. Over the past five years, Canadians have made greater use of other technologies to communicate, resulting in the loss of more than 1 million telephone lines. During the same period, subscriptions to wireless services increased by 5.8 million.
In 2012, Canadian families spent an average of $35 on home telephone service, which was less than the $37 they spent the previous year.
Internet services
In 2012, Canadians subscribed to faster Internet services and spent more time online. By the end of the year, 79% of the 13.9 million households in Canada had an Internet subscription. The percentage of households that had download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second rose from 54% in 2011 to 62% in 2012. Canadian families spent an average of $31 per month on Internet services, which was slightly more than the $30 they spent the previous year.
Television services
In 2012, the number of households that subscribed to basic television service increased by 1% to 12 million. Over 68 percent of Canadians television subscribers obtained this service from a cable company, 24% from a satellite company and 8% from companies that deliver television programming over telephone lines (known as an Internet Protocol television service). Canadian families spent an average of $52 per month on television services, which was a few cents less than what they spent a year earlier.
Communication revenues surpass $60 billion
Overall revenues for the communication sector surpassed $60 billion for the first time in 2012, growing 2.3% to $60.7 billion. Revenues generated by broadcasting services increased by 1.4% to $16.8 billion, while those generated by telecommunications services climbed 2.7% to $43.9 billion.

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