As prices dropped over the past year, broadband use at home has surpassed that of dial-up in the United States, reaching 53 percent of residential Web users in October, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
For now, what people do online hasn’t changed as much as its frequency and duration, although some people are beginning to make telephone calls on the Internet or use cheap webcams for video chatting, the Associated Press reported.
Surveys from the Pew Internet and American Life Project find that 69 percent of broadband users go online on a typical day, compared with 51 percent for dial-up. Broadband users who went online averaged 107 minutes surfing the Web, checking e-mail and otherwise engaged, 21 minutes longer than dial-up users.
Content creators, meanwhile, find the broadband audience now big enough to make it worthwhile to produce resource-hungry features. Amazon.com commissioned five short films to view for free at its Web site this holiday season.