CIRA provides a snapshot of the Canadian internet through Canada’s Internet Factbook

November 14, 2017, OTTAWA - The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) released Canada's Internet Factbook today, which showcases data about Canada's internet and Canadians' online habits, perceptions and experiences. At 25th place in the world, Canada ranks below nearly all other G7 nations in the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) ICT Development Index. This and other data points found in Canada's Internet Factbook can spark discussions that may lead to innovation across the country and toward a better online Canada.

Canada's Internet Factbook is developed annually, primarily through CIRA research. This report provides a comprehensive view of Canada's internet and covers the state of Canada's internet, e-commerce, cybersecurity and the online habits of Canadians.

Key Facts

  • 71 per cent of Canadians spend at least 3-4 hours on the internet each day.
  • 46 per cent of Canadians are willing to give up fast food for one year rather than lose the internet.
  • Almost three-quarters of Canadian internet users are unlikely to purchase a home in an area that lacks access to high-speed internet.
  • 57 per cent of Canadians are unaware that most of Canada's internet infrastructure, including communications beginning and ending in Canada, run through the U.S.
  • 76 per cent of Canadians are concerned about the security and privacy of their personal information on the internet if it is stored or routed through the U.S.
  • 82 per cent of Canadians have made an online purchase in the last 12 months.
  • 4-in-10 Canadians prefer to shop online rather than in-person in a store.
  • Use of a mobile phone to purchase items online has tripled (from 12 per cent to 36 per cent) since 2014.
  • 75 per cent of Canadians are concerned about an actual or potential cyberattack against organizations they know and 44 per cent are unlikely to continue making purchases from an online business following a major cyberattack.

Executive quotes

"The first step to building a better online Canada is understanding the experiences, perceptions and needs of Canadian internet users," says Byron Holland, CIRA president and CEO. "The data found in Canada's Internet Factbook provides a comprehensive look at the Canadian internet and we hope this information will influence innovation, funding and policy decisions so Canadians can have the internet they want and deserve."

"Canadian businesses can benefit from information found in Canada's Internet Factbook," says David Fowler, CIRA's vice-president of marketing and communications. "Nearly half of Canadians say they are unlikely to continuing purchasing from an online business following a major cyberattack, highlighting the need for Canadian businesses to understand and mitigate cyber threats as a priority."

"One of the ways CIRA is building a better online Canada is through our support of Canadian infrastructure," says Jacques Latour, CIRA's chief technology officer. "Over three-quarters of Canadians are concerned about their personal information on the internet if it is stored or routed through the U.S. Investing in Canadian internet infrastructure, which includes local internet exchange points that help Canadian data stay within our borders should be a priority for governments, businesses and Canadian internet service providers."

Additional resources

Canada's Internet Factbook can be accessed online at internetfactbook.ca.

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-based organization, CIRA also develops and implements policies that support Canada's Internet community, and represents the .CA registry internationally.