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Canadian households spent an average of $101 per month on mobile bills: CRTC

Mobile phone bills cost the average Canadian household $101 per month in 2017, according to a spending snapshot released by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). That’s a nearly 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

The Communications Monitoring Report 2019 released by Canada’s telecom watchdog examined which services Canadians are paying for and how much they spent between 2013 and 2017.

The agency found average monthly spending on communications services hit $233 in 2017, 4.6 per cent more than the $222.83 the previous year.

“Most communications subscriptions, like those for television distribution, landline, and internet services, tend to be purchased at a household level (and often in a bundle), meaning that there is a single subscription per household,” the report’s authors note.

“Households may have several subscriptions to mobile services. The data presented here does not allow for analysis of individual expenditures on communications services.”

Quebec customers paying least in Canada

Mobile services continue to represent the bulk of communications bills (43 per cent), followed by internet service (23 per cent), television distribution (23 per cent) and landlines (11 per cent).

“Television distribution” refers to cable, internet protocol (IPTV), and satellite services used to provide television services to households.

The average television distribution bill was $52.58 per month, down 2.2 per cent year-over-year. The average internet bill climbed 9.4 per cent to $54.17. Monthly landline costs dropped 8.2 per cent to $25.25 per month.

The report found Canadian households on average spent 3.1 per cent of their income on communications services in 2017, based on an average annual household income $90,185. The previous year’s snapshot found average spending was 2.9 per cent, based on an average annual income of $91,347.

In urban centres, the report found Newfoundland and Labrador residents were hit with the highest communications services bills at $274.83 per month. Quebec was the lowest at $181.83.

Urban communications spending (Statistics Canada/CRTC)

In rural communities, Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec were also the priciest and least expensive provinces for communications services, $277.75 per month and $199.83 per month, respectively.

Rural communications spending (Statistics Canada/CRTC)

Younger households were found to outspend older households, $214.67 per month versus $191.17, respectively

Canadians are hanging up on landlines

The CRTC found 90 per cent of households reported having a mobile subscription, up 1.8 per cent from the previous year. Internet was similarly popular at 89 per cent, also up 1.8 per cent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the prevalence of smartphones and the rise of cord-cutting, television subscriptions fell 3.3 per cent year-over-year to 72 per cent of households. Landline dropped 5.7 per cent year-over-year to 63 per cent of households.

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