The Atlanta-based Alliance for Digital Equality this week announced a new 22-person council that will investigate strategies for bridging the “digital divide” among underserved communities in Charlesont, S.C., the Charleston Post and Courier reports. Made up of local community and business leaders, the task force will help roll out broadband Internet access to more of Charleston's minorities and low-income residents. According to the Washington-based Pew Charitable Trusts, from 2005 to mid-2007 the percentage of blacks with home high-speed Internet access nearly tripled to 40 percent from 14 percent, and though roughly 48 percent of white households had broadband, just 30 percent of homes with less than $30,000 in annual income had high-speed connections. South Carolina, however, is plugging into broadband much more slowly with just 34 percent of South Carolina homes at the end of 2006 reporting high-speed Internet access at home, compared with 46 percent of all U.S. homes, according to the Federal Communications Commission and the Census Bureau. Meanwhile, the Alliance for Digital Equality is organizing similar efforts in Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Miami to bring together elected officials, consumers and business leaders to educate minority communities about the importance and benefits of broadband usage (Kyle Stock, Charleston Post and Courier, 1/25/08).