Where can you find trusted sources for telecom data?
I have written extensively about bad data sources such as Rewheel or Cable.co.uk. It is hard to do meaningful international price comparisons, given wide variations in quality and underlying costs. But where can Canadians go when looking for trusted sources for telecom data?
I tend to be a fan of government data. I did my graduate work in mathematical statistics at a time when Statistics Canada was one of the world’s most respected statistics agencies. It remains the most reliable source of Canadian telecom data in my books.
Statistics Canada maintains a telecommunications information portal, “Telecommunications: Connecting Canadians”, as a subset of its “Digital economy and society statistics” portal. There are also communications industry sub-indices produced each month as part of the Consumer Price Index.
The Digital economy portal has breakouts for:
- Cyber security and cybercrime;
- Digital technology and Internet use;
- Information and communications technology sector;
- Price indexes for digital economy goods and services;
- and, Television and radio industries.
There is a lot of other information available through that portal, including the Canadian Internet Use Survey.
The Statistics Canada telecom portal also has links to the CRTC’s Communications Market Reports, which are regularly updated with financial and performance information. The CRTC’s portal generally has more current information than it publishes annually. The Commission’s 2021 annual summary was published last week, eighteen months after the end of the year represented in the report. According to the CRTC, “With its investment in new technologies, and its new streamlined data collection and validation processes now in place, the CRTC has the tools to release data not only in a timelier fashion, but also in a more transparent and accessible way. The timing of the releases of the future iterations of the Annual Highlights will benefit from these improvements.”
The CRTC’s Communications Market Reports site is also a portal, with data summaries on various sectors and access to raw data in spreadsheet form. The CRTC portal also offers a number of tableaus (such as the one below), produced in conjunction with Statistics Canada, that can be configured dynamically by the viewer.
So where do I go for reliable facts and statistics? I start with government agencies, especially data produced by Statistics Canada.