According to the CRTC’s latest ‘Communications Monitoring Report 2020,’ the prices for most communications services decreased in 2019.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission released the report on December 10th, which indicates that the 2019 nationwide average combined price was $177 per month. This represents an average annual decrease of 6.9 percent from 2016 and a decrease of $42.
The report also reveals that mobile prices went down by $29 for an average annual decrease of 14.3 percent between 2016 and 2019.
Basic TV prices went down by $3 for an average annual decrease of 2.7 percent, while internet prices went down by $13 for an average annual decrease of 5.6 percent. Interestingly, basic landline prices went up by $2 for an average annual increase of 2.7 percent between 2016 and 2019.
“In 2019, the lowest combined average prices were in Quebec ($161) and Ontario ($169) (excluding the North, where 50/10 unlimited plans were not available). The highest combined average prices were in Saskatchewan ($202), Alberta and Nova Scotia (both $180),” the report states.
The report outlines that Canadians are buying larger mobile data plans, consuming more data and subscribing to faster internet speeds. Almost 60 percent of mobile subscribers had a 5GB or larger mobile plan in 2019, compared to 40 percent in 2018.
Further, mobile consumers with a data plan used an average of 2.9GB per month, which is a 26 percent increase from 2018.
Combined reported monthly prices for mobile services declined by 13.8 percent over 2018, and the greatest decline was seen in the 1GB basket. All service baskets declined between around $2 and $10 over 2018.
The CRTC notes that “58.0 percent of 2019 residential high-speed internet subscriptions were for 50/10 Mbps plans or faster (compared to 49.5 percent in 2018); these subscribers downloaded, on average, 245GB of data per month, an increase of 26.9 percent compared to 2018.”
The report also indicates that the average combined price in rural communities tended to be higher than in urban areas. For instance, the average combined price was $178 per month for residents in rural areas, whereas it was $175 in urban areas, which is a difference of 1.8 percent.
“Of the four individual services used to determine the combined average price, the largest urban-rural price difference was for the 50/10 Mbps unlimited data plan,” the CRTC notes.
The CRTC notes that it calculates averages by service, basket and provider using the minimum reported prices. Further, it selected 54 rural communities and 24 urban centres to represent the provinces and territories.
Image credit: CRTC