What role will the government play in IoT?

As the Internet of Things (IoT) market begins to boom, we are bound to see the government take a more active role in investment and policing what is right and wrong in the industry.

That’s what an April 6 notice on the Federal Register by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seems to suggest, asking for all parties involved in IoT to discuss with the administration about the evolution of IoT and shifts in global economies from the new technology.

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“NTIA seeks broad input from all interested stakeholders — including the private industry, researchers, academia and civil society — on the potential benefits and challenges of [Internet of Things] technologies and what role, if any, the U.S. government should play in this area,” said NTIA in the notice.

While it reads civilly enough, the U.S. government has shown a lack of enthusiasm for major projects like commercial drones, which we shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015.

That might worry IoT stakeholders that want to see the market grow unhindered. If new regulations or subsidies are set in place, it might change the dynamics of the market drastically.

Government trying to get a handle on IoT

Federal Times explains that the comments will be added to a green paper, which will be given to the government to “identify key issues impacting deployment of these technologies, highlight potential benefits and challenges and identify possible roles for the federal government in fostering the advancement of IoT technologies in partnership with the private sector.”

While IoT has been around for a decade now, it has only gained its bearings in the last three years. The growth in the consumer sector, with devices like Nest’s thermostat, Philips Hue, and Amazon Dash Button selling well, has brought more interest from all across the industry, which Gartner claims will balloon to 26 billion IoT devices by 2020.

It doesn’t appear to be a market desperate for government intervention, though no doubt some will argue for and against government assistance.

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