IoT users could win with a new bill in the US Senate

The bill would form an IoT working group and make the FCC look for more frequencies

Four U.S. senators have proposed a bill that would call on the Federal Communications Commission to study the need for more spectrum to connect Internet of Things devices.

The bill, proposed by a bipartisan group of senators, would require the FCC to look at whether there is enough spectrum to support the continued growth of IoT. The agency also would have to study regulatory barriers to providing more licensed and unlicensed spectrum for IoT. The FCC would have to report back to Congress with recommendations within a year. 

IoT might benefit from a U.S. government push to make agencies give up little-used frequencies for commercial use or at least share them with other users. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3.5GHz band, created last year, will allow for unlicensed and lightly licensed use of spectrum that had been fully devoted to military use.

The bill, called the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, also calls for a federal IoT working group to consider issues like spectrum needs, consumer protection and security. The group would meet with enterprises, IoT vendors and consumer groups and come back to Congress with recommendations within a year.

Congress has signaled before that it thinks there’s too much at stake in IoT to leave it entirely up to industry. The Senate passed a resolution last March that said the U.S. should have a national policy on IoT, and Congress has already held a hearing on IoT issues such as privacy, security and spectrum.

Industry representatives told Congress last July that heavy-handed regulation could stifle IoT innovation. But because it could bring many new devices into consumers’ lives and affect how industries operate, IoT touches on several areas the government regulates. And to grow as much as industry proponents like Cisco and Ericsson predict, the new technology may need more wireless spectrum from bands it can’t yet use.

The new bill, sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, would have the U.S. Secretary of Commerce convene the new working group. It could include representatives from the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Transportation and other agencies.

The DIGIT Act is sponsored by Republican Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, along with Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Brian Schatz of Hawaii.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?