Canada Continues to be a Global Leader on Connectedness

OTTAWA, August 8, 2002 � More Canadians are browsing, interacting,
learning, and buying over the Internet every year, according to the
annual Connectedness Index from The Conference Board of Canada.

Canada is a global leader in the use of information and
communications technologies (ICTs) � second only to the U.S. Four
sectors in particular benefit from Canada�s strength in
connectedness � health, education and learning, business, and
government.

“Canada is clearly connected, for example, we
ranked first in the index for on-line banking, government on-line
services, and broadband penetration, “
said Brian Guthrie, Director, Innovation and
Knowledge Management at the Conference Board. “Each year Canadians
are becoming more
comfortable with computers, the Internet, and
their applications, but we shouldn�t be complacent. Other countries
are making connectedness a
priority and are progressing quickly.”

People are turning to the Internet for health
information and access to health experts�this is one of the most
common on-line activities. Meanwhile,
32 per cent of Canadian households use the
Internet from home for formal education and learning. Businesses use
ICTs to become more productive
� taking advantage of technology�s ability to
lower transaction costs and increase customer interaction � and the
effect has been extraordinary.
Statistical data shows that e-business
activity is steadily increasing over time.

The report points to three key opportunities
for improvement � broadband services, content, and wireless.
Focusing on these areas will offer Canada
the most opportunity to strengthen its
position as a leader in connectedness, and improve its overall
socio-economic performance. Broadband �
high-speed connections � allows for new
applications involving video, sound, and large data files.

Content will become key if the Internet
becomes the dominant communications medium � Canadian content will
have to compete with foreign
content, presenting opportunities and risks.

Improving our wireless performance can boost
our overall connectedness by serving areas where it is too expensive
to lay wire, cable, or fibre. It also
creates opportunities for new products and
services � such as permitting an employee in the field to obtain
information right away from wherever the
job may take them, or a wireless pacemaker
that can continually monitor a patient�s vital statistics.

The Conference Board�s Connectedness Index is
the third in an annual series that compares Canada with nine other
Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations �
the other G7 countries, plus Australia, Finland, and Sweden � on the
availability and use of ICTs.

Download this briefing:

Pursuing Excellence Through Connectedness Canada�s Quest for Global
Best (pdf, 101 kb)

About the Conference Board of Canada.

The Conference Board of Canada is the foremost independent,
not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. We help
build leadership capacity for a better Canada by creating and
sharing insights on economic trends, public policy issues, and
organizational performance. We forge relationships and deliver
knowledge through our learning events, networks, research products,
and customized information services. Customers include a broad range
of Canadian organizations from the public and private sectors. The
Conference Board of Canada was formed in 1954, and is affiliated
with The Conference Board, Inc. that serves some 3,000 companies in
67 nations.

Every year the Conference Board hosts more than 250 meetings and
conferences, holds over 80 leadership programs, publishes 150
research documents and investigates more than 4500 requests for
information from members.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Web site is at
http://www.conferenceboard.ca