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The complete Canadian internet resource guide

Robin Layton

Sep 1, 2021 — 2 min read

There are various internet service providers in Canada, with plans to suit every household. Find the best one for your needs with this guide.

Man using laptop at table in house with children playing in yard behind him.

Regulated through the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, the main source of internet service in Canada is similar to America, with fiber, satellite, cable and DSL options.

History of internet in Canada
Top internet providers in Canada

How to set up your internet connection

Getting your internet connection up and running is as easy as these three steps:

1. Compare providers and plans

Determine the internet speed that you require and the available service providers who can cater to your needs. Examine bundle deals, contract lock-ins and service reviews to get the best plan for you.

2. Make an order

Call your preferred provider to reserve a date to have your internet service installed.

3. Set it up

Your provider may give you the option between contactless installation or professional installation. A professional installation requires a provider representative to visit your location to set up your internet for you.

Internet speed recommendations for different households

The future of the internet in Canada

High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy is the government’s plan to ensure that the rural and remote areas in Canada stay connected to create stronger and more resilient communities with its three pillars:

  • High-Speed Access for All – by working with partners to achieve universal 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speeds for all Canadians.
  • Investing for Impact – by investing $1.7 billion for broadband infrastructure and by supporting connectivity projects through the Canada Infrastructure Bank for the next 10 years
  • Partnering for Progress – by continuing to engage with Canadians and all other stakeholders and by establishing an expanded Centre of Expertise to improve broadband connectivity

Did you know?

  • According to Statistics Canada in 2018, 1.2% of households with children do not have access to the internet.
  • The Universal Broadband Fund aims for 100% of the country to have internet access by 2030.

What about 5G?

Canada will most likely get the full 5G experience by 2022. Until then, carriers like Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility, and Videotron have started to offer 5G to their subscribers. Fido, Koodo Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Freedom Mobile, Shaw Mobile and SaskTel will be offering 5G by 2021 or 2022. 

Digital divide in Canada

Low-income internet resources

Here are just some of the few ways to access free or low-cost internet access in Canada:

Did you know?

Shaw and Telus operate free Wi-Fi hotspots (even to non-subscribers) all around the country. Shaw provides over 100,000 hotspots in cafes, stores, restaurants and gyms, with an interactive map to find the one closest to you. .

Telus offers a free service at places like stadiums, airports, cafes, restaurants and malls. The company offers a locator tool and an app to help find the spots.

Click here to download the full graphic for this article.

Robin Layton

Written by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

Robin Layton is an editor with Allconnect. She works closely with the content team writers to ensure consumers get a fair and balanced reporting of the state of broadband services to help them understand the pro… Read more

Joe Supan

Edited by:

Joe Supan

Senior Writer, Broadband Content

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