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Canada - Internet

As Canada is a very technologically advanced country, internet usage is widespread. It is estimated that in 2009 around 75% of the population regularly used and had access to the internet, a large increase from the estimated 40% in 2000. As internet packages are becoming more comprehensive they are also becoming more affordable and many people are opting for internet at home, usually a broadband service. There are a few internet providers that cover the whole country but many are provincial providers, so no matter where you are in Canada you will have a choice.

One of the largest providers is Bell but Rogers also has nationwide coverage. In addition there are companies such as Uniserve which cover a few provinces but offer different services in each one, such as fibre optic broadband or simply high speed broadband.

Bell is one of the oldest telecommunications companies in Canada and was one of the first to offer widespread internet access in the country. The company also offers television and telephone services and can offer advice on internet security too. Bell usually has a number of incentives available for new customers including free installation and free equipment.

Rogers is a company which dates back to 1960 and was the first cable provider on the North American continent to offer high speed internet. Their wireless network was launched in 2002 and a portable internet service in 20 cities in Canada in 2006. The services they offer include television and landline telephones. For new customers that are moving all services to Rogers there are different promotions and free gifts as an incentive. Installations may also be free of charge, but this will depend upon your status and the promotions which are available at the time.

All companies offering internet services will have a variety of packages to choose from. You may find that most will also offer telephone and television services too and you can get discounted rates if you take all services from one country. There are fibre optic services, high speed broadband and for those who are light internet users, dial-up services are still available in Canada. Some of these have additions which make them faster than traditional dial-up but this is the most cost effective option for those who only want internet to send a few emails.

Most internet service providers also have packages which limit the amount of usage each month, then charge extra if you go over this amount. You can opt for a light user package, an express package if you need faster speeds and packages which are designed for those who regularly download music and films. The faster the speed the more you will be expected to pay for internet access. As in the US and the UK, you are able to tailor packages to suit your needs.

A number of internet companies in Canada are looking to improve the services that they offer to rural customers and in some areas dial up services are the only option. Companies such as ISP Canada offer wireless services in these areas which gives broadband access. It is estimated that around 95% of Canadians are within an area that can receive some form of high speed internet service.

When you want to open an account with an internet provider you will need to provide documentation. If you already have telephone or television services with the same company then it is simply a case of adding on the extra service but otherwise you will need to complete a service agreement and this may involve providing copies of other utility bills, ID, a credit check and paying a deposit for the service. When this process has been completed, most companies in Canada aim to have your services connected and running within a week. If you need to have a credit check, the company may accept documentation from a credit reference agency in your home country if you have not been in Canada long.

There are no government controls or restrictions on internet services in Canada. All providers give parents the option to control what their children can look at on the internet and most have security features which can be downloaded for added peace of mind.

Useful Resources

Tel: 1 877 864 7378

Bell Tel: 310 2355

Tel: 1 888 764 3771

Read more about this country

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