The CRTC has published a report showing recent trends in communication in Canada. It is fascinating. One thing for sure: our children and grandchildren have adjusted more and more quickly to the newer technologies than have we "under 90s".
- Increasingly households are getting rid of landlines. We still have ours, but quite frankly I wonder why. We have maybe 8-10 phones connected to our landline, and we'd save money and space if we got rid of the landline.
- We spend a lot on communications. From the Financial Post, "In a report issued Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said households spent an average of $203 per month on their communication services in 2014". Ms Eclectic and I joke that we just sign my Canada Pension Plan cheque over to Rogers each month, but we get more and better service for less money here in London than we did with the combination of services we were forced to find when we lived in Clinton, Ontario. We do subscribe to lots of sports on television, plus we have our landline, plus internet, plus two cell phones.
- Cell phone revenues were $22B, more than radio, television, and landline revenues combined. Wow. And yet I understand that. We pay a lot for our cell phones and plans. I rarely listen to the radio (we do listen to music via some cable channels through the television now and then), and we don't really watch a lot of television (other than some sports, some Brit mysteries, and some nature/science programmes).
- Netflix is BIG. 58% of Anglophone Canadians between the ages of 18-34 subscribe to Netflix, doublethe percentage from a year earlier. We tried it for two months and never used it. The Canadian version did not give us access to the older Brit mysteries that we liked (other than a few we already have on blu-ray). But our children and grandchildren all seem to have Netflix and use it fairly frequently.
- Seniors watch more television. On average seniors watch 42hrs/wk, whereas people in the 2-11 and 18-34 age demographic groups watch only about 20 hours/week. The young folks tend to play more video games, watch more streaming videos (via Netflix and other services), and be in school or be working. We "under 90s" have lots of time on our hands. In our household, the tv is on quite a bit with tennis or baseball or football or music or science programmes. But I figure I really watch only about 2 hrs/day or maybe 14-16 hrs/day. The rest of the time I'm on my laptop and just look up now and then to see what's happening on the tv.
- Bundled services and the resulting price discrimination are still common but are no longer growing so rapidly.
I think I could go without television for quite some time (especially now that the Trono Blue Jays have been eliminated in baseball playoffs). And I could quite easily dispense with the landline (though giving important people our cell phone numbers could be a mess). I might even be able to give up our wifi, though I'd rather not.
But cell phone service with a good data plan is crucial for me. I love being on the internet -- reading news, checking blogs, reading email, and following so many friends on Facebook. As you know, I wrote at length about how important the internet is for me last spring when I tried not to use it for 48 hours.
Overall, we fit the trends outlined in the CRTC report: we have the television on quite a bit, we bundle our services to get discounts, we spend a lot on telecommunications, and we are considering giving up our landline.