WASHINGTON—The U.S. federal government has a multitude of programs to support the development of the Internet of Things in the private sector, but there has been no attempt to identify all of the various efforts, says the Center for Data Innovation. In a first-of-its-kind analysis, the Center describes all of the ongoing federal initiatives to support private-sector development of the Internet of Things and concludes that greater coordination and direction is necessary.
“The Obama administration has clearly recognized the value of the Internet of Things, and federal agencies are right to not only adopt the Internet of Things in their own operations but to also assist the private sector as it rolls out this technology,” said Daniel Castro, the report’s author and director of the Center, a think tank focused on data and public policy. “But it appears that each federal agency is marching to the beat of its own drum. The challenge for the Trump administration will be to coordinate all of these ongoing efforts to ensure the federal government remains a useful partner for the private sector. The best way to do this is by developing a national strategy for the Internet of Things.”
The report lists five core ways the federal government is supporting the private sector build-out of the Internet of Things:
- Providing technical resources;
- Developing industry-friendly regulations;
- Ensuring spectrum availability;
- Supporting research and development; and
- Coordinating stakeholders.
“The federal government has done a great job of starting projects that will drive the deployment of the Internet of Things,” concluded Castro. “But these initiatives are likely insufficient to grow the technology as rapidly as we need to if we don’t want to miss out on the many benefits it can offer. Fortunately, both the federal government and Congress have signaled their support for a national strategy for the Internet of Things that would remedy this. The stage is set for the Trump administration to take up the mantle and establish the federal government as not only a lead adopter of the Internet of Things but a broader champion for the technology and a valuable partner for the private sector.”