Riddle me this

We have a paradox on our hands.

The Canadian Learning Index used by Macleans magazine to tell us what places are smart and dumb is saying New Brunswick has the lowest percentage of household with access to broadband.

The NB government is saying New Brunswick is “Canada’s leader in providing high-speed Internet access”.

Sometimes when it comes to statistics we haggle about degrees.  This is an all out war.  Either we are the worst for broadband access or the best.  Which one?

Does anyone have a theory?

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4 Responses to Riddle me this

  1. > Does anyone have a theory?

    Yeah. It’s Macleans. Partisan as they come.

  2. mikel says:

    MacLeans uses the CLI, which uses Statistics Canada data on Household Spending, which isn’t exactly concrete data but from surveys.

    The NB government uses Xplorenet to provide ‘universal coverage’, which makes them a ‘leader’. Although there is anecdotal evidence that this ‘high speed’ is not much better than dialup, and satellite is technically not broadband to some people. There have never been independant tests of rural high speed speeds.

    The OECD data is useful, as they state that ALL of Canada has been slipping in broadband services. Like telecom, Canada is found to not only be more expensive than most OECD countries, but also to be MUCH slower.

    The federal government in 2009 was looking for private partners to provide broadband for rural areas, ironic since that is supposed to be their base and yet they’ve pretty much written them off. It was offering to pay 50% of the setup costs, but no word on how effective its been. Xplorenet talks a lot about its partnership with the province, but has no mention of the federal initiative.

    Since Xplorenet is a private firm there is no verifying how many people use their service, so the data on household spending has to suffice. As far as ‘learning’ is concerned, the survey is not that informative. You can have high speed and if all you do is download porn and watch streaming baseball games then for all intents and purposes your internet isn’t doing much for your ‘learning’ (at least in ways that are really educational).

  3. Chris Baker says:

    Of course, it may just be all in the interprestation of the data. GNB states that broadband Internet access is available throughout NB. The CLI may be looking at the number of NBers with broadband Internet service.

  4. I think they are using two different concepts but both use the word “access”. You can have access to something without actually purchasing it.

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