Access to telecommunications
Forms of telecommunications and how they are used have changed greatly over the last decade. These trends are expected to continue, so it is important that census data collected in this area remains relevant for the future, while retaining comparability.
Data on household access to a telephone is still important to collect. Although internet access has become more prevalent, in many households a telephone is still the only form of telecommunication available.
Whether information on fax access should continue to be collected in the census is questionable, as faxes are becoming obsolete due to widespread use of the internet.
We considered for the 2006 Census whether it was more appropriate to gather information on access to cell phones at an individual level. The report on this issue concluded that the question on the dwelling form currently met most users’ needs. To gather useful data on usage of specific devices would require a series of detailed questions not suited for inclusion in the census.
Our current recommendations relating to access to telecommunication systems
We recommend that access to telecommunication systems be included in the 2018 Census, but that information on fax access no longer be collected.
We recommend that access to telecommunication systems continues to be collected on the dwelling form.
See our preliminary view of 2018 Census content (pages 54-55) for a more detailed discussion on access to telecommunications information.
See 2013 Census information by variable for information on the access to telecommunications variable.