The results of 52 million end-user speed tests have shown Canada is a global contender in broadband Internet performance, ranking often in the top 10 international countries, notes a new report from Lemay-Yates Associates.

LYA benchmarked six key broadband internet metrics, covering cost and performance indicators as well as household penetration in the G7 countries and in 32 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

"The results of LYA’s analysis demonstrate that Canada’s broadband Internet metrics are often in the top quartile among these countries, not near the bottom as reported by some organizations, including the OECD," says Johanne Lemay, the report’s co-author. "Using actual tests conducted by users gives a far more accurate measure of performance than simply basing findings on what internet service providers advertise their broadband Internet speeds to be."

LYA ranked Canada as the seventh least expensive country out of 32 OECD countries when comparing average monthly broadband subscription costs. Out of 32 OECD countries, Canada ranks twelfth in the average cost of a Mbps of downstream speed to end users — more than two times better than the 2011 OECD ranking.

Additional findings from the LYA report:

>> Canada takes the Number One spot in highest broadband penetration among G7 countries at 74 percent, significantly ahead of the U.K. and France (at 69.2 percent and 69 percent, respectively). Using the latest data available, LYA found Canada ranks seventh out of 32 OECD countries in the same metric, up from the tenth spot as reported by the OECD.
>> Canada’s average consumer broadband speed performance comes in at the top half with 11.5 Mbps, in 15th place, faster than average speeds seen by consumers in France and the U.K.

The statistics are particularly meaningful when Canada’s large geographical land mass and sparse population are taken into consideration. “Canada has the best performance with respect to broadband speeds and penetration when compared to countries with similar very large geography, notably the United States and Australia,” LYA explains.

Full disclosure: LYA’s study was sponsored by Canada’s Rogers Communications Inc. To read the entire report, click here

Across The Pond

U.K. regulator Ofcom says U.K. consumers are getting 220-percent faster broadband speeds at home than they were 12 months ago. In November 2011, the average actual U.K. residential broadband speed was 7.6 Mbps, compared with 6.2 Mbps in November/December 2010, and 6.8 Mbps in May 2011.

Ofcom’s new research attributes this increase to consumers moving to higher speed packages.  In November 2011, for example, more than half (58 percent) of U.K. residential broadband connections had an advertised speed of more than 10 Mbps, up from 48 percent in May 2011. However, more than 4 in 10 broadband consumers remain on packages offering 10 Mbps or less, even though many of them would be able to get a higher speed at little or no extra cost if they switched their packages or providers.

Of the 13 ISP packages covered, Ofcom’s research found that the fiber-based and cable broadband technologies were fastest. Virgin Media’s “up to” 50 Mbps continued to have the highest average download speeds of approximately 49 Mbps. BT’s fiber-based service (BT Infinity) delivered average download speeds of around 36 Mbps, up from approximately 34 Mbps in May 2011; the service also achieved the highest average upload speeds of 8.8 Mbps. Other ISP packages did not change significantly from May 2011, Ofcom notes.

“It is encouraging that speeds are increasing, and that consumers have a real choice of broadband service,” says Ofcom CEO Ed Richards. “Most households in the U.K. can now access superfast broadband services, and these services are set to get faster still as Virgin Media aims to double the speeds of most of its cable services and BT aims to double the speed of its fiber-to-the-cabinet service from 40 Mbps to 80Mbps.” (For more information, click here)

Here In The States

Representatives of rural cities and counties across Georgia told a panel of state senators last week they had to create the broadband networks private providers have refused to bring to their communities.

Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers is sponsoring legislation he says will make public broadband networks play by the same rules as private service providers. Senate Bill 313 would prevent public broadband providers from paying for communication networks using tax or government funds, and from offering their services at below-cost prices. It also would require local governments to hold hearings and a special election to become a public provider.

To read the pending Senate Bill 313, click here

South Of The Border

Telmex tapped Alcatel-Lucent as a key supplier for the deployment of a superfast broadband access network based on VDSL2 and GPON technologies in Mexico to meet growing customer demand for connectivity; super-high-speed Internet; and such high-bandwidth applications, video on demand, entertainment, social networks and other services.

Telmex already has been aggressive when it comes to  VDSL2 and fiber-optics network coverage, and it now wants to deliver increased benefits for consumers. Alcatel-Lucent says it will be able to provide:

>> The latest generation of VDSL2 broadband access technology deployed in street cabinets throughout cities and municipalities to deliver super high-speed access.
>> State-of-the-art GPON technology to deliver more bandwidth to subscribers, improve the performance of current applications and prepare the network for the fast introduction of new services and applications.
>> An advanced IP/MPLS Carrier Ethernet solution to allow a more efficient traffic management and support the delivery of broadband services to a greater number of subscribers.

According to Pierre Chaume, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent in Mexico, the new deployments will allow Telmex to move huge amounts of traffic and multimedia content to remote areas, with better-quality signals, ultra-high speeds to 100 Mbps, and cuts to current  maintenance costs.

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Lifetime announced “Gift of a Lifetime,” part of the net’s pro-social giveback initiative partnering with charities to identify five women and their families to receive the “gift of a lifetime”

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