St. John’s has faster internet than Toronto and Vancouver, says PCMag

St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador has faster internet than Canada’s major cities in broadband internet speed, according to PCMag’s 2021 internet service provider rankings.

The PCMag’s report measures internet speed in Canada offered by both major and smaller ISPs.

The report includes speed test data from 78,310 tests taken between April 1, 2020, and June 7, 2021. It combines 80 per cent of the download speed and 20 per cent of the upload speed to generate a PCMag Speed Index (PSI).

Telus took the crown in download speeds among the major ISPs, scoring an average of 250 PSI. Bell came in a close second with 201, followed by Shaw and Rogers at 154.6 and 150.1 respectively.


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However, they all paled in comparison to Beanfield Metroconnect, which scored an astounding 417.4 PSI and a download speed of more than 400Mbps. Despite its regression from the previous year, Beanfield Metroconnect still left Canada’s major ISPs in the dust.

PCMag internet ranking 2021 - all ISPs
Despite a regression from last year’s speeds, Beanfield Metroconnect still dominated the competition. Source:PCMag

But there’s a caveat: Beanfield Metroconnect only connects to apartments and office buildings. For people living in standalone homes, an incumbent cable carrier is still their best option.

Other regional ISPs, including Communicate Freely in Port Perry and Valley Fibre in the City of Winkler, Man. all had excellent performances against Canada’s biggest ISPs. Communicate Freely and Valley Fibre both develop their own fibre optic networks in their respective regions.

Overall, the PCMag report found that Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba had the fastest internet services. Telus topped the charts on the west coast, while Shaw, which is currently in talks of being sold to Rogers, performed well in Manitoba.

Zooming in a bit reveals a surprising picture: St. John’s in N.L., a city with just a little over 100,000 residents, has the best score out of the entire country, scoring 576.3 PSI. Its lead is followed by Sarnia, Ont. and Levis, Que. with 480.8 and 474.8 respectively. None of Canada’s major cities made it to the top 10 in PCMag’s speed index.

PCMag internet ranking 2021 - all cities
The city of St. John’s had the fastest internet speeds in Canada. Source: PCMag

The rankings don’t get prettier when sorted by population size. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, scored only 71.5 PSI, lagging behind Vancouver with 207.1, Saskatoon at 217.9 and Edmonton at 269.0. Its score was far from the worst, however. That title belongs to Halifax which scored just 27.9 PSI.

PCMag internet ranking 2021 - internet speeds sorted by pipulation size
Canada’s urban centres had slower internet, on average, than smaller cities. Source:PCMag

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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