Bill Was Included in Defense Authorization Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The bipartisan DIGIT Act, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). and was signed into law as part of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has received praise from stakeholders.
“With the continued growth of connected technology, the DIGIT Act will help Americans realize the full potential of the Internet of Things. I am grateful for the work of the bipartisan Senate IoT Working Group on this bill, and am pleased it has been included in the FY 2021 defense authorization. I look forward to seeing this bill become law, fostering public-private coordination to position the United States as a leader for a more connected future,” said Senator Fischer.
Support for the DIGIT Act:
“The Chamber applauds Senator Deb Fischer’s leadership to secure inclusion of the DIGIT Act in the National Defense Authorization Act, which would not have been possible without strong bipartisan support from Senators Gardner, Booker, and Schatz. As government looks to enhance and adopt digital infrastructure, this legislation is necessary to develop a strategy for promoting the use of Internet of Things technology that will connect billions of devices and lead to improvements in public health and safety,” said Tom Quaadman, Executive Vice President of the U.S. Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center.
“Internet of Things technologies bring tremendous value to everything from healthcare to agriculture to cities and energy grids. The Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act recognizes the importance of finding ways to facilitate IoT growth to harness the benefits to our economy and society. We appreciate the leadership of Senator Deb Fischer and Senator Brian Schatz,” said Intel Corporation.
“Development of the Internet of Things is crucial for Lindsay to continue to lead in technological advances that accomplish our goals as a company. The more information Lindsay can provide to the producers who feed the world, the better they are able to maximize yields and manage precious natural resources. Lindsay has closely followed and supported Senator Fischer’s work on the DIGIT Act. This bill will help coordination between the public and private sectors with respect to the Internet of Things. We need leadership at the national level to continue to push IoT throughout the nation, and we are grateful that our home state senator is providing it,” said Randy Wood, Lindsay Corp COOa.
“With the Internet of Things offering the potential to deliver substantial economic and social benefits across multiple sectors, including government, in the coming years, it is critical that policymakers understand how to promote and facilitate adoption of the technology. The DIGIT Act would bring together stakeholders across government and the private sector to offer important recommendations for how to proceed, including on spectrum, setting up the United States to remain a global leader in the successful adoption and use of the Internet of Things,” said Daniel Castro, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
“We thank Senators Fischer, Gardner, Schatz and Booker for their work on the DIGIT Act, included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which brings together the expertise of the public and private sectors to research and report on the IoT policies that will best support our connected future,” said Kelly Cole, CTIA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.
“IoT systems will be more deeply embedded into our daily lives and people will interact with and depend on them more than any previous computer systems. Beyond basic security and privacy, research that seeks to make these systems more usable, manageable, understandable, and efficient is necessary. CRA is pleased that the DIGIT Act provides members of the academic research community a seat at the table to bring this viewpoint to the strategic planning process, and we are very pleased to see its inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Peter Harsha, Director of Government Affairs, Computing Research Association.
“Paige Wireless is laser-focused on bringing precision agriculture to Nebraska through our statewide LoRa WAN network. It is the only way that our state’s number one industry will be able to compete on a global scale and continue to feed the world. We are thrilled that Senator Fischer continues to relentlessly pursue the development of IoT at the federal level and understands what it means for Nebraska. The DIGIT Act is another step in the process and we commend her for pushing it towards the finish line,” said Julie Bushell, President of Paige Wireless.
“I am very pleased Congress has included the DIGIT Act in the NDAA, which will support a digital future by utilizing the expertise of federal and industry stakeholders and evaluate spectrum needs for the Internet of Things. Competitive carriers are on the forefront of next-generation technology deployments, and rural areas will greatly benefit from current and future IoT applications. Some of the most promising, significant economic impacts of new IoT technologies can be found in rural America, and sound policies are essential to ensuring that all Americans can participate in and benefit from these innovations. I thank Congress for recognizing the importance and great potential that future technologies promise to the nation, and CCA looks forward to continued work to ensure all Americans can benefit from robust mobile broadband technology,” said Steven K. Berry, President and CEO, Competitive Carriers Association.
“SIA has long supported the DIGIT Act, and we applaud Senator Fischer for her steadfast, bipartisan leadership in getting this vital legislation adopted through the NDAA. In part of the DIGIT Act’s intent, which is to promote U.S. innovation and leadership in the “internet of things,” SIA members stand ready to offer our expertise to ensure IoT security and resiliency measures are integrated into a national strategy,” said Don Erickson, CEO of the Security Industry Association.
The DIGIT Act was reintroduced last year by Senators Fischer, Schatz, Gardner, and Booker. It would convene a working group of federal entities and experts from the private and academic sectors tasked with providing recommendations to Congress on how to facilitate the growth of connected Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The group’s recommendations would focus on how to plan for, and encourage, the development and deployment of the IoT in the U.S.
Additionally, the DIGIT Act directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in consultation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to complete a report assessing spectrum needs to support the Internet of Things.
The DIGIT Act is critical for the United States’ leadership on the Internet of Things, as other countries have moved to create national strategies around IoT in recent years. The IoT is estimated to have the potential to generate trillions of dollars in new economic activity across a range of sectors, including transportation, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and health care. The IoT will play a key role in delivering economic and societal benefits, such as in precision agriculture, telehealth, smart traffic and transit technologies, public safety, logistics and supply chains, sustainable infrastructure, and environmental monitoring.
The bill passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously on July 10, 2019, and the full Senate on January 8, 2020. The bill’s passage follows the Senate-passed resolution on the Internet of Things in 2015 led by (Senator Fischer and) the Senate IoT Working Group, as well as a series of IoT reports requested from the Government Accountability Office.