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APEC Report Card: Digital Economy Increasing in Atlantic Canada; Improved Access Needed for Rural Communities

Date: October 25, 2018

The digital economy is becoming increasingly important in Atlantic Canada, aided by a large increase in household internet use, according to APEC’s latest Report Card.

Atlantic Canada’s use of the internet at home grew from 12% of households in 1997 to 88% in 2016. “As the internet is increasingly used for streaming videos and music, online gaming, and electronic purchases, download speeds become a key factor,” says APEC’s Senior Policy Analyst, Fred Bergman.

Download speeds have increased across the region, with New Brunswick having the fastest average download speed in Canada; however, not all households have high speed internet access. Internet access and download speeds are much lower in rural communities. For example, in Prince Edward Island about 50% of households do not have high speed internet access (defined as 50 megabytes per second).

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