How You Can Shape the U.S. Government's Policies and Regulations Regarding the Internet of Things

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is offering a one-of-a kind opportunity to influence the ways in which the U.S. government responds to the growth of IoT technologies.
By Ronald E. Quirk Jr.

Technological Issues
Interoperability. The current fragmented IoT technical environment can inhibit value for the industry and its customers. Issues such as integration inflexibility and ownership complexity are on the minds of many stakeholders. The NTIA seeks comment on specific interoperability issues that are of concern, and details as to how they might best be remedied.

Standards. The NTIA is concerned about the problem of insufficient, contradictory proprietary standards and platforms. Accordingly, the agency requests information on appropriate standards and best practices that could alleviate this critical issue.

Spectrum Availability and Potential Congestion/Interference. The IoT makes substantial demands on available wireless spectrum. As more and more IoT devices and services enter the marketplace, the potential for interference with other service increases exponentially. The NTIA seeks comments on spectrum usage and allocation (licensed or unlicensed spectrum), equipment authorization, and related issues that could help mitigate spectrum scarcity and interference problems.

The NTIA cites concerns about how the IoT might impact the existing industrial infrastructure. Comments are sought on matters pertaining to the IoT's effects on infrastructure architecture, business models and stability; how to minimize the IoT's disruptions to the infrastructure; and the government's role with respect to alleviating infrastructure disruptions caused by IoT implementations.

The NTIA acknowledges that the IoT is already altering the economy by enabling the development of innovative consumer products and new economic sectors. In order to enhance the positive economic developments of IoT implementation, the NTIA seeks comments on these topics:

Should the Government Quantify or Measure the IoT Sector? If so, should the metrics include the value or volume of devices manufactured or sold; industrial or manufacturing components; the IoT as part of the digital economy (in the commerce of digital goods and services); the enabling of more advanced manufacturing and supply chains; or other useful metrics or data collection tools?

Impact of the IoT's Proliferation on Industrial Practices. The NTIA solicits information on the benefits and challenges of the IoT on advanced manufacturing, supply chains and agriculture. Such issues include roles or actions the federal government take in response to such challenges, positive or negative impacts tgar the IoT's growth have on the U.S. workforce, and what the U.S. government should do to address any such impacts.

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