Canadians Are Wired

According to eMarketer, more than 22 million Canadians, or two-thirds of the population, will have regular access to the Internet this year. By 2012, that number will rise to 25 million.

While the number is impressive, it will be far more interesting to see how Canadians use of the Web will be impacted if the proposed – and evil – new copyright legislation is enacted, and how (if?) the federal government does anything to address Net Neutrality.

With enthusiastic adoption of high-speed access, Canadians have been enthusiastic users of the Web but you will excitement and usage decline if there are restrictions on what you can do with it. Another issue is how the copyright bill and Net Neutrality could impact innovation.

Those are much more interesting and bigger issues than the Internet population.

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  • Daniel Gibbons

    At least as concerning as the net neutrality / copyright issues is the dismal state of e-commerce in Canada. Setting up a merchant account is still unbelievably painful compared to the US, and I can’t find a link to back this up right now, but anecdotally I’ve heard that the number of merchants setting up e-comm in Canada is declining. E-commerce transactions are increasing daily, which simply means we’re sending an ever lower proportion of this business to Canadian companies.

  • Mark Evans

    You’re absolutely right. If you’ve ever shopped at Ikea, for example, you know that they’re not really doing e-commerce but trying to make it appear as if they are online savvy.


  • Daniel Gibbons

    Oh don’t get me started on Ikea… My last Ikea online shopping experience went like this:

    1. I happily browsed the website and filled my cart.

    2. I then discovered by means of a phone call from Ikea that nothing I had ordered was in stock…

    3. …even though it was in stock at the local stores…

    4. …which draw from completely separated, walled-off inventory, that the website can “see” but online shoppers can’t buy.

    The Ikea person I spoke to literally said “yea, it’s really not worth trying to buy stuff on the website.” Of course this was a few years ago, but it sounds like things haven’t changed.

  • Jonathon

    The size of the Internet population isn’t an issue at all. It’s just a metric we can plug into real issues like the proposed copyright legislation. Another issue that will be prioritized much higher is the security of the Internet infrastructure we’re using.

    As people come to understand that virtually all blogs and websites they frequent are pretty much unsecured vectors for cyber hackers to steal their info, we’ll hopefully see a better emphasis on web security (Read Is Your Website Safe?). Imagine if two thirds of Canadians took a plane every day and the only security they had was at the ticket check-in, and all that was required was a (hopefully valid) passport. Hopefully, we’ll see some progress on this in 2008.

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