Press

Apr 27 2016

Commerce Committee Passes Internet of Things Bill

Bipartisan DIGIT Act Directs FCC to Report on Spectrum Requirements, Convenes Working Group to Study Impact of Connected Technology

WASHINGTONThis morning, the Senate Commerce Committee approved bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). The bill addresses the future impact of new connected technology, known as the “Internet of Things.” This legislation, known as S. 2607, the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, builds upon the senators’ resolution, which passed the Senate in March of 2015. The DIGIT Act calls for a national strategy on the Internet of Things. 

Senators Fischer, Booker, Ayotte, and Schatz released the following joint statement:

“We’re pleased to see the DIGIT Act pass the Commerce Committee with broad bipartisan support. Our bill would foster dialogue between the private and public sectors to promote collaboration and well-informed policies moving forward. It would also help ensure spectrum availability, encourage innovation, and protect consumers. 

“We were proud to come together on this bipartisan legislation and offer new ways to foster innovation and grow our economy. We look forward to voting for the bill when it receives a full vote in the Senate.”

By passing the Senate Commerce Committee this morning, The DIGIT Act has crossed the final hurdle before heading to the Senate floor. The legislation has broad support across the technology industry, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), and the National Association of Manufacturers.

The DIGIT Act was introduced on March 1, 2016, and it would direct the Federal Communications Commission to issue a notice of inquiry assessing the spectrum needs required to support the Internet of Things. It would also convene a working group of both federal and private entity stakeholders that would provide recommendations to Congress. These recommendations would focus on how to plan for, and encourage, the growth of the Internet of Things in the United States.  

Over the past two years, Senators Fischer, Ayotte, Booker, and Schatz have worked on a bipartisan basis to explore advancements in new connected technologies and related public policy issues. 

On March 24, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed their Internet of Things resolution, which put the U.S. Senate on record supporting a strategy to maintain U.S. global competitiveness in the digital age. It also called for a modern framework around innovation, recognizing the importance of consensus-based best practices, and the need for innovators to drive the future development of the Internet of Things. 

The rapidly developing market of health wearables, connected homes, and other novel solutions represents an expanding industry of consumer products.