Is the OECD getting it wrong?

OECDThe whining about Canada’s supposedly pathetic broadband industry has begun. Once again, pundits are saying that Canada’s broadband service ranks with Poland and Mexico.

The OECD couldn’t be wrong, could it?

Actually, I find that a number of figures in the OECD result are questionable. First off, why are we so willing to accept the statement that our broadband speeds are among the world’s slowest?
Surely the critics who make this statement are aware that Videotron has been a leader in introducing the world’s fastest cable broadband and had launched a commercial service with 50 Mbps speeds in February 2008. So why wouldn’t we start off by asking how the OECD’s report [ excel, 26KB] that is supposed to represent September 2008 could list Canada’s fastest advertised speed at 25Mbps. Had the OECD gotten the facts right, we would be tied with a number of countries that have fibre-to-the-home operators, and belies the mistaken view that Canadians enjoy a different internet experience.

By the way, since February, Shaw has offered a 100 Mbps service called Nitro. We’ll want to make sure the OECD includes this in their next report.

The OECD also may have their pricing information wrong. It says [ excel, 21KB] that on average, we are paying $26.11 (USD) per megabit for our broadband internet service. I don’t know about you, but I am paying $47 (CDN) for 10Mbps service. That works out to about $4 (USD) per Mbps, or right around the number 3 position in the world.

Before we get out our sackcloth and ashes to mourn the sorry state of our industry, we should start off by ensuring that the OECD has access to the correct information about Canada.
We’ll be looking at all sorts of issues dealing with broadband services at The 2009 Canadian Telecom Summit – extending service to rural Canada, net neutrality, the broadband connected home, new media, e-commerce. Have you registered yet?

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