The U.S. finding, which included home and work use, marks the first time broadband Internet usage has ever outpaced dial-up, or narrowband usage.
The findings have significant implications for the advertising industry because observers believe that widespread household penetration of broadband access will open up a new era of online programming and marketing potential.
Sharp increase from last year
Broadband users logged 1.19 billion hours in January, accounting for 51% of the 2.3 billion hours spent online during the month. By contrast, broadband users spent 727 million hours online in January 2001, accounting for 38% of the total time spent online.
Total time spent online by broadband users spiked 64% year-over-year to 1.19 billion hours, while time spent online by narrowband consumers decreased 3% from 1.18 billion hours to 1.14 billion.
"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," said Jarvis Mark, Nielsen/NetRatings analyst.