President-Elect Trump Positioned to Advance IoT if He So Chooses, Says CTA

A Consumer Technology Association white paper outlines specific policy recommendations for the incoming Trump administration in the effort to maximize IoT impact on economy and innovation.

Editor’s note: the following article first appeared on the website of SSI sister publication CE Pro.

By Chelsea Cafiero

A 2015 Politico investigation reveals that “new networked-object technologies are covered by at least two dozen separate federal agencies – from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from aviation to agriculture – and more than 30 different congressional committees.”

This is just one of the many insights the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) outlines in a recent white paper outlining a national strategy to promote the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT).

It’s true; the government can either be an enabler or inhibitor to technological growth. For the next few months, the industry can only guess at what a Trump presidency will mean for the tech industry. President-Elect Donald Trump has vowed to be lax on regulation and tough on job growth. But his exact policies remain up in the air.

“The incoming administration has an opportunity to facilitate the creation and production of never-before-imagined devices that will improve our world,” says Gary Shapiro, CTA president and CEO. “The Internet of Things has become omnipresent in the lives of tens of millions of Americans, providing money-, energy- and life-saving technologies. We need the Trump administration to do all that it can to promote innovation in the IoT.”

Especially with estimates that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, there’s no time to waste.

The CTA’s white paper recommends specific policies and steps to promote economic growth through expansion of the IoT. It is intended to serve as a guide during this presidential transition period in Washington.

CTA’s report makes the following IoT policy recommendations:

  • Rely on the industry to help. The rapid pace of innovation positions the technology industry to develop solutions to today’s challenges surrounding the IoT, including concerns over security and privacy. Industry stakeholders have the capacity and expertise to rectify issues faster than a stifling and expensive regulatory process.
  • Develop a federal stakeholder group. Although the National Institute of Standards and Technology has formed a working group to address IoT, the discussion of related policy-issues should be holistic. To that end, the Trump administration should generate a cooperative, cross-agency working group that improves federal coordination of IoT resources and considers policies that encourage the growth of IoT.
  • Maximize spectrum usage for IoT. In order to facilitate IoT innovation, the government should make more spectrum available for innovation and the growth of this massively consequential industry. Access to spectrum is essential to the continued success of current IoT technologies and the development of future innovations. Aggressively facilitating access to spectrum in this space, through efforts such as the bipartisan Congressional Internet of Things Working Group, will ensure entrepreneurs have the resources needed to thrive and create the devices of the future.

Among the CTA’s most significant policy recommendations for the next administration is that the default standard setting and regulatory process should not lie with a single body of the American bureaucracy, says Shapiro.

“Efforts to resolve the issues that inevitably accompany progress should be consensus-driven and led by industry stakeholders, in concert with federal agencies,” he says. “This will ensure we maintain and promote an environment conducive to innovation and growth, while also protecting the safety and security of consumers across America.”

To read the full white paper, go here.

Chelsea Cafiero is Senior Web Editor for SSI sister publication CE Pro. Email her at [email protected].

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