Understanding Internet Usage Among Broadband Households: A Study of Household Internet Use Survey Data
Canadians were early adopters of broadband Internet services, and Canada continues to lead the G7 group of industrialized countries in broadband penetration. In 2003, approximately 65% of Canadian households with home Internet connections had broadband connections, a number that increased to 81% in 2005. It is assumed that the high adoption rates reflect a population that is well-prepared to use the Internet to access education, health, government, business and entertainment services. However, the adoption of broadband alone is not a panacea for users. How the broadband connection is used is critical to understanding impacts. By analyzing Statistics Canada's Household Internet Use Survey (HIUS) data, this paper makes the case that not all broadband households are the same. It demonstrates that understanding how often and for what purposes Canadian households are using their broadband connections allows for a fuller examination of Internet usage than simply measuring broadband access rates. As the data will show, broadband access does not imply full usage of broadband services. This study identifies differences within broadband households, and explains why it is important to recognize the differences in their usage behaviours.