A quarter of Canadians experienced internet outages last year: CIRA

Nearly half of those outages were related to weather events, while three-quarters were ISP outages

CIRA website on a smartphone.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) says over a quarter of Canadians experienced at least one major internet service disruption in 2022, almost half of which were because of weather events.

The details come from polling data commissioned by the CIRA and carried out by The Strategic Counsel in an online survey of 2,000 adult Canadian internet users aged 18 and older. The sample was weighted proportionate to population by province, as well as to age and gender.

Based on the polling data, the CIRA says about 27 percent of Canadians experienced at least one major internet service disruption last year. Of those people, 44 percent experienced outages due to weather events. Additionally, 71 percent experienced an internet service provider (ISP) outage.

Moreover, 64 percent of Canadians who experienced major outages had between one and four outages throughout the year.

Beyond outages, the CIRA took a look at how Canadians feel about the internet. 82 percent of Canadians said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their home internet speed, with half spending over five hours online per day.

However, only 18 percent of Canadians feel that social media is beneficial, down from 25 percent in 2022 and a high of 35 percent in 2020.

The CIRA notes 31 percent of Canadians are reluctant to use social media or participate in online discussions due to fears of online harassment. Those aged 18-34 are more likely to have witnessed online harassment than those aged 35-54 and 55+.

The data also says about three-quarters of Canadians are concerned about malware, while only 19 percent have been victims of a successful cyber attack. 34 percent report using tools or services to improve privacy and security, while 67 percent are confident in their ability to detect online fraud and scams.

Wrapping things up, the CIRA said it found people are more to have taken at least a one-day break from the internet during the survey period than they were the year prior. Interestingly, Netflix remains the most dominant subscription platform, despite subscriptions falling 10 points from 61 percent in 2022 to 61 percent in 2023. Canadians also prefer shopping in person more than shopping online compared to previous years.

Source: CIRA