Former FCC chairs push digital-education effort

Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell has a new job: digital hygienist.

On the eve of the FCC’s auction of spectrum reclaimed in the switch to digital TV, Common Sense Media is teaming up with Powell and two other former FCC chairmen to push for government and industry funding of a broad-based digital-media-education initiative.

Common Sense CEO James Steyer called it a long-term effort “to address the fact that kids are living in this digital space today and will be even more so over the next 10 or 20 years.”

Common Sense — joined by Powell, a Republican, and former chairmen William Kennard and Newton Minow, both Democrats — formed the Digital Kids Task Force. The group cited the billions of dollars expected to be raised by the auction and the spectrum’s planned use for advanced wireless services including delivering the Internet to kids.

They want Congress to set up a nonprofit corporation financed through congressional appropriations, donations, grants and other public monies to fund education, centralized research into the impact of digital media on children.

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