PCMag has dropped its Best Gaming Internet Service Providers (ISPs) list for Canada in 2022. Bell claimed the top spot for ‘major’ ISPs, which include providers with a multi-province presence and a minimum of 500,000 customers. When looking at all ISPs, Manitoba’s Valley Fiber holds the number one spot.
Before we dig into the results, there are a few things worth taking note of. First, PCMag measures the best gaming ISPs using its ‘Gaming Quality Index,’ or GQI. The GQI focuses on latency and jitter gathered from tests performed by customers. PCMag averages out the scores and assigns a GQI to each ISP based on the results — the lower the GQI, the better. The GQI differs from PCMag’s Speed Index, which focuses on download and upload speeds (and where a higher result is better).
This year, PCMag gathered tests from 146,071 people in Canada between December 1st, 2020 and November 29th, 2021, up 394 percent over last year.
Since PCMag started separating results for major and all ISPs, there have been several winners in the major ISP category, including Virgin Mobile with a GQI of 27.9, Telus at 22.1 and last year, Shaw at 26.3. This year, Bell finally broke the 20 GQI line with a score of 19.9.
Telus landed in second at 22.5 (up from 26.3 last year) while Shaw placed third with a GQI of 27.2, a little worse than its previous winning 26.3 score.
When widening the scope to all ISPs in Canada (PCMag requires at least 100 tests to be included), things get more interesting. Last year, Toronto-based Beanfield Metroconnect scored a record-setting 3.3 on the GQI, but it fell significantly to 42.4 this year (although it still boasts the fastest speeds in PCMag’s summer speed rankings).
Instead, Manitoba-based Valley Fiber was the top score at 5.9, up from its second-place score of 8.9 last year. The number two spot went to Novus (12.1), which specializes in high-rise buildings mostly in Vancouver. FibreStream was close behind Novus at 12.7 — it services apartments and condos in cities like Toronto and Ottawa. When looking at all ISPs, Bell’s 19.9 GQI puts it in the fifth spot.
Looking at gaming scores by province, Manitoba takes top spot with a provincial GQI of 31.2. B.C. comes in close behind at 32 followed by Alberta, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. Ontario, New Brunswick and P.E.I. are functionally tied at 52.x, with Nova Scotia bringing up the rear. PCMag did not include the territories since it didn’t receive enough tests from residents.
You can view last year’s results here.