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Canadian Internet Use Survey, 2012

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Released: 2013-11-26

In 2012, 83% of Canadian households had access to the Internet at home, compared with 79% in 2010.

About 85% of households located in census metropolitan areas and 80% of households located in census agglomerations had home Internet access, compared with 75% of households outside these areas.

The rates of household access were highest in British Columbia and Alberta at 86%, followed by Ontario at 84%.

About 69% of connected households used more than one type of device to go online in 2012.

Laptop and desktop computers remain the preferred types of hardware of Canadians to access the Internet from home, with 74% and 62% of connected households relying on those devices respectively in 2012. That said, the proportion of connected households using wireless handheld devices from home to go online has increased from 35% in 2010 to 59% in 2012.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Devices used to access the Internet - Description and data table
Devices used to access the Internet

Chart 1: Devices used to access the Internet - Description and data table

A high-speed connection was reported by 97% of households with home Internet access in 2012.

Almost all households in the top income quartile (98%), or those with household incomes of $94,000 or more, had home Internet access, compared with 58% of households in the lowest income quartile, or those with household incomes of $30,000 or less.

Of those households that did not have home Internet access in 2012, 61% reported they had no need for or interest in it. About 20% of households reported having no access because of the cost of the service or equipment.

  Note to readers

The 2012 Canadian Internet Use Survey, sponsored by Industry Canada, was conducted in October and November as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey.

The survey consists of a household component, which measures home access, and an individual component, which measures online behaviours.

This release features home Internet access, based on a sample of about 30,000 households. Results on individual Internet use and e-commerce were released in The Daily on October 28, 2013.


The "Home Internet access" rate is the proportion of households with access to the Internet from home. The survey asked about the type of devices used to access the Internet, including a desktop or laptop computer; a video games console; a BlackBerry, iPhone, tablet or other wireless handheld device; and other devices.

"Home high-speed access" is self-reported by the respondent and represents the proportion of households with a high-speed connection to access the Internet from home.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) and a census agglomeration (CA) consist of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. A CA must have an urban core population of at least 10,000.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mark Uhrbach (613-951-9214;, Investment, Science and Technology Division.

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