Commerce Department Releases IoT Framework

The Department of Commerce Thursday proposed a framework for advancing the Internet of Things (IoT), saying it must be connected, open and interoperable and is seeking comment on its "findings, approach and next steps."

It identifies four areas of engagement:

• "Enabling Infrastructure Availability and Access: Fostering the physical and spectrum-related assets needed to support IoT growth and advancement."

• "Crafting Balanced Policy and Building Coalitions: Removing barriers and encouraging coordination and collaboration; influencing, analyzing, devising, and promoting norms and practices that will protect IoT users while encouraging growth, advancement, and applicability of IoT technologies."

• "Promoting Standards and Technology Advancement: Ensuring necessary technical standards are developed and in place to support global IoT interoperability and that the technical applications and devices to support IoT continue to advance."

• "Encouraging Markets: Promoting the advancement of IoT through Department usage, application, and novel usage of the technologies; and translating the economic benefits and opportunities of IoT to foreign partners."

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said that the agency would create the conditions for the emerging technology to thrive.

The basic principles driving the plan are that Commerce will make sure IoT is inclusive, widely accessible, stable, secure, trustworthy, globally connected, open and interoperable.

It also promised to convene stakeholders to deal with the public policy challenges of IoT—from cybersecurity and privacy to innovation and intellectual property.

The report itself was informed by comments from, among others, NCTA: The Internet & Television Association.

It remains to be seen whether the new administration follows through with the plan.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.