The U.S. Department of Commerce recently released a report proposing steps the Department can take to advance the Internet of Things (IoT). The “green paper” examines the benefits and challenges of the evolving IoT landscape and suggests that the U.S. government should continue to foster an enabling environment for innovative technology to grow and thrive.

“The Internet of Things promises to revolutionize our world from increasing efficiency and convenience for industry, consumers, and government to improving safety,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said. “Today’s report affirms the Department’s commitment to creating the conditions for emerging technologies to thrive, and it identifies future actions necessary to support the evolution and expansion of the IoT.”

The report’s recommendations are based on comments submitted as part of a Request for Comment issued in April 2016 and input from a September 2016 workshop on the Internet of Things.

The paper identifies four broad areas of engagement related to IoT:

  • 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.
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