House joins Senate to call for national IoT strategy

Congress

The House of Representatives took a bold baby step this week toward developing a national IoT strategy.

In a 367-4 vote, the House passed H.R. 847, a resolution calling for the federal government to “develop a national strategy to encourage development of the Internet of Things for connected technologies to empower consumers, foster future economic growth and improve the nation's collective social well-being.”

The “sense of the House” bill is non-binding, and offers neither money nor roadmap for the goal. Instead, mirroring a Senate bill passed last March, it largely recognizes the advances of the industry – praising “the role of businesses” and “inclusive dialogue with industry,” for IoT advancement in the U.S.

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It is, by definition, the very least Congress could do.

Still, it does constitute action completed in an election year, a difficult proposition in the best of times. The Center for Data Innovation, a think tank focused on data and public policy, considered that cause for celebration.

“This resolution … is a clear signal from Congress that the federal government should act now to begin developing a national strategy to support the growth of the Internet of Things, promote innovation, stimulate economic growth and tackle pressing social challenges,” Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, said in a statement today.

The think tank viewed the resolution as enabling government agencies to take the next step, essentially giving authorization to move forward.

“Now that Congress has formally expressed its support for a national strategy, the Obama administration, and its successor, should act quickly to launch an effort to develop one,” Castro noted.

Meanwhile, with or without a national strategy, the domestic industry is moving inexorably forward on IoT development. New sensors and devices are connected every day, and industry leaders are working on various technologies, from LoRa to LTE, to connect them all.

Given the pace of Washington, it may take some time before the federal government catches up.

For more:
- see the bill
- read this Nextgov article about the Senate version

Related articles:
AT&T’s Coursey: Cellular technologies like LTE can cover the vast majority of IoT needs
Audi cars to talk with traffic signals in step toward autonomous vehicles
Vodafone's U.S. IoT chief: Forget Sigfox and LoRa, NB-IoT 'makes a significant amount of sense'

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