Fixed broadband speeds in Canada jumped 27% in 2021, and mobile network download speeds have increased 15% since July, according to Ookla. Mobile and Fixed Broadband Internet Speeds in Canada report for the fourth quarter of 2021.
According to Ookla’s report, the median broadband download speed in Canada increased from 78.25 Mbps in January to 99.76 Mbps in December 2021. The median download speed also increased slightly, from 16.28 Mbps to 21.69 Mbps.
The Ookla report requires at least 300 unique user results from a country to be considered valid. The report ranks service providers using Ookla-derived metrics such as Speed Score and Consistency Score.
West Coast service provider Shaw Communications held the top spot through 2021 for fastest median fixed broadband speeds. It ended the year with a speed score of 197.22, which is weighted for 80% download and 20% upload speed. Rogers was a close second at 183.63 and Bell third at 153.67. Telus, scoring 128.97, was edged out slightly by Cogeco, which scored 136.38.
All of Canada’s major broadband providers had excellent latency. Bell had the lowest at 5ms, but even Cogeco, the worst performer on the list, only had 14ms.
Ookla calculates the consistency score by counting the percentage of submitted data samples that are above a minimum threshold. For broadband and 5G, it sets baseline performance at 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
Rogers edged out Shaw as the most consistent broadband provider with a consistency score of 89%. Shaw came in second with 87.7%. Bell and Telus ranked bottom two at 82.5 and 81.9 percent respectively, behind Cogeco and Videotron, which scored 86.8 and 85.5 percent.
In 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and British Columbia were vying for the broadband speed crown. By the end of the year, New Brunswick moved up two spots to become the province with the highest average broadband download speeds in Q4 2021. At 132.65 Mbps, that’s just a little faster than last quarter winner Newfoundland and Labrador, which measured 131.58 Mbps in the fourth quarter. British Columbia ranked third at 130.97 Mbps, and Ontario remained sixth at 95.06 Mbps.
Median download speeds in Yukon and the Northwest Territories have remained virtually unchanged since the start of the year. In the Northwest Territories, download speed increased from 47.85 Mbps to 55.63 Mbps between Q1 and Q4. Yukon speeds remained the same as T1 with a median download speed of 43.96 Mbps.
Median mobile download speeds in Canada increased by 10% to 75.32 Mbps between January and December 2021, which propelled it to 15th place in Ookla’s global mobile network performance rankings.
Telus held the top spot throughout 2021 and became the fastest mobile service provider in Canada with a median download speed of 98.29 Mbps. Its lead is followed by Bell at 92.78 Mbps and Rogers at 72.65 Mbps. Fido, the Rogers spin-off brand, finished fourth with performance just behind its flagship brand at 69.74 Mbps, while Videotron and Freedom Mobile came in at 58.26 Mbps and 43.83 Mbps.
When it comes to 5G performance alone, Bell and Telus are essentially tied for first with median download speeds of 171.39 Mbps and 167.74 Mbps respectively. Rogers trailed far behind in this metric with just 109.42 Mbps.
These speeds are actually moderately slower than Ookla’s Q1 report. In Q1 2021, Bell was first with a median download speed of 212.08 Mbps, Telus was at 208.61 Mbps, and Rogers’ 5G network measured 131.89 Mbps.
The availability of 5G networks has increased this year. Rogers 5G network availability increased by 43%, Telus 5G network availability increased by 106% and Bell saw the biggest increase with a whopping 136%.
Apart from network expansions, the adoption of smartphones with 5G capabilities and plan upgrades have also contributed to the increase in availability.
When it comes to devices with the fastest overall connectivity (4G and 5G), the top three spots all belonged to Apple. iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 had the best median download performance and lowest latency, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy S21+ 5G and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. That said, in terms of combined performance, phones made by Google (not Android phones collectively) beat Apple and Samsung in median download speeds.
Find the full breakdown of Ookla’s testing methodologies here.