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What is government's role in Internet of Things economy?

April 7, 2016 (Photo Credit: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

The Internet of Things has arrived and is poised to be big business in the coming years. As the central agency overseeing economic development, the Commerce Department wants to get caught up on the marketplace.

In an April 6 notice on the Federal Register, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) put out the call to all interested parties to chime in on how IoT is evolving and what shifts can be expected in the U.S. and global economies.

Federal Register: Benefits, Challenges and Potential Roles for Government in Fostering Advancement of Internet of Things

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

Those comments will be pulled together into a green paper that “identifies key issues impacting deployment of these technologies, highlights potential benefits and challenges and identifies possible roles for the federal government in fostering the advancement of IoT technologies in partnership with the private sector.”

The idea of IoT — and the name itself — has been around since 1999, however it’s only recently that the technology and marketplace have matured.

“In our view, 2015 was the year IoT gained legitimacy,” Verizon researchers wrote in their State of the Internet of Things report released April 5. “IoT endpoints will grow from 9.7 billion in 2014 to more than 25.6 billion in 2019, hitting 30 billion by 2020.”

And, to Commerce’s point, it’s also a booming business.

According to Verizon, global spending on IoT will grow from $591.7 billion in 2014 to a projected $1.3 trillion by 2019.

Similarly, NTIA notes, as of 2015, devices now outnumber people by a ratio of 3.5 to 1.

The request for comments includes 28 detailed questions to help stakeholders refine their responses.

NTIA will be accepting comments through May 23.

The Federal Register post notes all comments will be part of the public records and posted publicly online. As a result, NTIA warns against including any personal or confidential information and said it will accept anonymous comments.

 

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