January saw the passing of another milestone in the history of the internet: 51 percent of all time spent online by Americans is via high-speed broadband connections.

The event, recorded in January by Nielsen/NetRatings, includes both work and home access and is the first time that broadband usage has exceeded dial-up and ‘narrowband’ [ISDN] connections.

Broadband users surfed for 1.19 billion hours in January, accounting for 51% of the 2.3 billion hours spent online that month. This is in sharp contrast with January 2001 when broadband users spent 727 million hours online – just 38% of total online time.

Says NNR analyst Jarvis Mark: “Broadband surfers spend as much time online as narrowband surfers and also comprise a growing proportion of the overall online population. Increasingly, online business models will be built and marketed with the broadband surfer in mind.”

This has significant implications for advertisers, who must react to a new era of online programming and marketing potential given the widespread – and increasing – household penetration of broadband.

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff