House Members Form IoT Working Group

A bipartisan House duo has launched a working group to kick the virtual tires on the Internet of Things (IOT).

Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Tuesday announced the creation of the group, whose goals are to educate members about IoT, look at the benefits and challenges for consumers and stakeholders, and investigate what role the government should take in advancing those technologies.

They will also look into the potential for public-private partnerships.

Their other goal is to produce a report of their activities and findings by year's end.

“The Internet of Things is transforming every sector of our economy by using the Internet and networked sensors to optimize and customize products to better meet consumer preferences and demands,” said Latta. “As devices become increasingly interconnected, it’s important that policymakers get up to speed on this emerging technology so that federal policy encourages innovation and consumer benefits, while protecting privacy and security," added Welch.

Working group members are Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

“I thank Congressmen Latta and Welch for creating the bipartisan working group to examine IoT, which is booming throughout the mobile industry,” said Steven Berry, President of the Competitive Carriers Assocaition. “To compete and thrive in the industry and continue to provide their customers with the most advanced technologies the industry has to offer, competitive carriers must tap into the IoT ecosystem.  Many IoT technologies are affecting public safety, education, health, and the economy, and offer real opportunities to drive revenue to carriers’ bottom lines.  These benefits can be particularly important in rural and regional areas.  It is critically important for policymakers to understand the positive impact that these proven technologies have on the wireless industry and the economy, as well as the spectrum, backhaul, network, and device issues needed to support IoT and 5G growth.”

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.