Annual Survey of Telecommunications (AST)

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This survey collects financial and operating data for the statistical measurement and analysis of activities in the telecommunications industry. These data will be aggregated to produce national and regional estimates of the performance of this industry.

These estimates are used by regulatory and policy departments, the private sector, international organizations, academics, analysts and the general public to better understand this industry's contribution to the Canadian economy.

Selected results will be published in Table 22-10-0003-01.

Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Collection period:
From February 19 to June 21, 2020
Collection method:
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Internet data capture system
Survey participation:
Mandatory under the Statistics Act, the Telecommunications Act and Broadcasting Act
  • Block Information Confidentiality

    Confidentiality

    Data are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19, as well as under the authority of the Telecommunications Act (all forms) and the Broadcasting Act, Section 37 (select forms).

    By law, Statistics Canada is prohibited from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent, or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Statistics Canada will use the information from this survey for statistical purposes only.

  • Block Information on Data sharing agreements and record linkage

    Data sharing agreements and record linkage

    Data sharing agreements

    To reduce response burden, Statistics Canada has entered into data sharing agreements with provincial and territorial statistical agencies and other government organizations, which have agreed to keep the data confidential and use them for statistical purposes only. Statistics Canada will share data from this survey only with those organizations that have demonstrated a requirement to use the data.

    Section 11 of the Statistics Act provides for the sharing of information with provincial and territorial statistical agencies that meet certain conditions. These agencies must have the legislative authority to collect the same information, on a mandatory basis, and the legislation must include substantially the same provisions for confidentiality and penalties for disclosure of confidential information as the Statistics Act. Because these agencies have the legal authority to compel businesses to provide the same information, consent is not requested and businesses may not object to the sharing of the data.

    For this survey, there are Section 11 agreements with the provincial and territorial statistical agencies of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon. The data shared will be limited to information pertaining to business establishments located within the jurisdiction of the respective province or territory.

    Section 12 of the Statistics Act provides for the sharing of information with federal, provincial or territorial government organizations. Under Section 12, you may refuse to share your information with any of these organizations by writing a letter of objection to the Chief Statistician, specifying the organizations with which you do not want Statistics Canada to share your data, and mailing it to the following address:

    Chief Statistician of Canada
    Statistics Canada
    Attention of Director, Investment, Science and Technology Division
    150 Tunney's Pasture Driveway
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0T6

    You may also contact us by email, at haig.mccarrell@canada.ca

    Note that there is no right of refusal with respect to sharing the data with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The CRTC has the legislative authority to collect this information on a mandatory basis pursuant to the Telecommunications Act and Broadcasting Act.

    For this survey, there are Section 12 agreements with the statistical agencies of Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as with the CRTC and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

    For agreements with provincial and territorial government organizations, the data shared will be limited to information pertaining to business establishments located within the jurisdiction of the respective province or territory.

    Record linkage

    To enhance the data from this survey and reduce response burden, Statistics Canada may combine the information you provide with data from other surveys or administrative sources.

  • Block Information on Topics covered in the survey

    Topics covered in the survey

    The survey asks questions about

    • operating revenues and expenses by type and by province/territory
    • employment and remuneration
    • fixed assets
    • number of subscribers and revenues by type of customer.
  • Block Information on Published data

    Published data

    Statistics Canada publishes the results of its surveys in many formats. To find all the documents related to this survey, follow the links below and type the name of the survey in the search engine located at the left of your screen to filter the results.

    Data: You will find tables, profiles of a community or region, thematic maps, public use microdata files, and data visualization tools.

    Analysis: You will have direct access to Stats in brief (e.g., releases from The Daily, fact sheets), articles and reports, and journals and periodicals.

  • Block Information on Survey-specific questions

    Survey-specific questions

    What is the purpose of the Annual Survey of Telecommunications?

    Statistics Canada will use selected data from the survey to produce national and regional estimates of activity in telecommunications industries. These estimates become an integral part of the national and provincial economic accounts.

    In addition, estimates from the survey are used to report to international organizations such as the OECD and the ITU, and are an authoritative source of information on the Canadian telecommunications industry, for use by all stakeholders including interested government departments, the private sector, academics, analysts and the general public.

    The survey content and collection methods were redesigned in 2007 to coincide with the joint survey, conducted in partnership with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

    Why are the CRTC and Statistics Canada conducting a joint survey?

    The CRTC and Statistics Canada have agreed to integrate the requirements of both organizations for industry and market statistics into this data collection in order to avoid duplication, minimize response burden on the industry, make more efficient use of resources and promote coherence of the Canadian statistical system.

    Who uses this information? Why is it important?

    Data from this survey are used by:

    • the CRTC to gauge the state of competition in telecommunication markets, identify trends, support its decisions and establish regulatory policies;
    • international telecommunications organizations such as the ITU and the OECD to describe and study this sector;
    • industry associations, provincial governments, and industry analysts to monitor the performance of the industry, competition in its markets and to conduct economic studies, analyze and develop policy;
    • industry consultants and other interested parties to prepare reports submitted to bodies such as the CRTC.

    Data from this survey are important because they allow for the measurement of the sector's contribution to the Canadian economy and support informed decision-making in the development of regulatory policies.

    When will the results be available?

    Survey results will be released in The Daily.

    Consult Published data for survey data and analysis.

  • For more information about this survey (questionnaires, definitions, data sources and methods used): survey number 2722
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