Tech Companies Offer National IoT Plan

Tech companies have come up with what they say should be the government's definition of the Internet of Things (IoT) and policy recommendations for IoT that includes finding more spectrum for 5G.

That was offered up in a proposed national strategy to "promote investment, development, and widespread utilization of the internet of things (IoT)."

The working definition, and one that should undergird future policymaking, they say is: "'[T]hings' (devices) connected through a network to the cloud (datacenter) from which data can be shared and analyzed to create value (solve problems or enable new capabilities). The IoT enables us to connect 'things' like phones, appliances, machinery, and cars to the internet, share and analyze the data generated by these 'things,' and extract meaningful insights; those insights create new opportunities, help solve problems, and implement solutions in the physical world."

Related: Intelsat, Intel Propose C-Band 5G Solution

The framework, which was released Tuesday by the Information Technology Industry Council with an assist from Samsung and Intel, provides strategic recommendations for government and industry to work together.

That includes public-private research partnerships, ensuring consistent standards, incentivizing security protections and making that a quid pro quo for government funding and prioritizing it in the procurement process, and directing the FCC, Federal Trade Commission and SBA to develop a cybersecurity hygiene awareness and education campaign.

And in a sort of "Digit Once" version of the "dig once" approach to infrastructure buildouts, the plan recommends Congress and the Administration "should make it a federal priority in infrastructure legislation to both fund and incentivize smart, data-driven IoT solutions that advance federal agency missions." It cites as an example traffic-sensing stoplights that can save up to 25% in travel time.

They say the government needs to promote more spectrum sharing, unlicensed use—like Wi-Fi—and public-private collaboration, rather than "designate specific IoT bands or technical standards."

But the tech companies have "thou shalt nots" as well, chief among them is not to adopt any new regs where "existing standards, best practices, and regulations exist, or are underway that would include IoT technology, or where the costs of new regulations have not been offset by the reform of previous regulations."

(Photo via Rock1997Image taken on Jan. 18, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

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.