pew+broadband researchBroadband access has been spreading to more and more homes and businesses across the U.S. in recent years, enabling “always on” connectivity that’s been helping spur higher rates of Internet use. Results from the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest survey (completed April 3, 2012) show that 2/3 of American households have broadband connections.

The latest figures highlight the extent of the increase in broadband access in recent years. Just 4% of American households had broadband access back in 2001, and only about half of U.S. adults were online.

Breaking out the latest data, Pew found that 65% of white and 46% of African-Americans were using broadband connections at home. Though the gap is 11%, the number of African-Americans adopting broadband at home rose significantly between 2009-2010, according to Pew’s research.

Looking at the difference in home broadband access between men and women, Pew found that there’s almost none, with 65% of men and 66% of women using broadband connections at home.

Facilitating “always on” Internet connectivity has spurred a sharp rise in the amount of time Americans use the Internet. Dial-up users back in 2002 participated in an average three online activities per day. Broadband users today take part in seven.

One-third of broadband users in 2010 subscribed to a premium service, with the average broadband bill amounting to $41.18 per month.

Spurring broadband access and adoption has been a priority for the federal government. “One in ten Americans (11%) say that it should be a “top priority” while three in ten (30%) feel that it is “important, but a lower priority”. One quarter each say that federal promotion of broadband expansion is “not too important” (27%) or “should not be done” (26%),” according to the Pew Internet Project.