Internet of Things

TIA and its member companies believe that an increasingly connected world – commonly referred to as an “Internet of Things” (IoT) – holds immense promise for investment and innovation that will translate to wide societal benefit and improvements in countless aspects of American consumers' everyday lives.

At its most basic, the Internet of Things is a label for a future in which regular, everyday items – from household appliances to cars to medical devices – are outfitted with sensors and connected to the Internet to share their data. Viewed more broadly, the IoT will give rise to an entire ecosystem for interconnected devices, objects, systems, and data all working together. In this new world, most communications will be machine-to-machine (M2M), and there will be a continuous exchange of information between devices, sensors, computers and networks.

While the potential for benefits in an IoT world are widely recognized, a number of policy issues impact the IoT across markets and uses, such as interoperability, privacy, security and spectrum availability, among others. With these common threads running across IoT applications, a significant danger exists that vertical regulations imposed in one market will be inappropriate for another. This approach would stifle innovation and delay or degrade the economic and social potential of the IoT. To avoid this scenario, IoT policy discussions should begin with a common horizontal framework, followed by tailoring for specific vertical applications only as necessary.

Regulators in the United States and around the world have already begun to examine IoT and related policy implications. As such, TIA is committed to helping to ensure that the full economic, societal, and technological potential of the Internet of Things is ultimately recognized. To inform this discussion, TIA produced a white paper entitled Realizing the Potential of the Internet of Things: Recommendations to Policymakers. This brief offers a general framework for IoT policy discussions and its recommendations are applicable across market sectors.

TIA has also submitted numerous filings to a variety of regulators around the world. Please visit here to view TIA’s filings on the Internet of Things.