Mar 01 2016

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Internet of Things Bill

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.This morning, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced bipartisan legislation addressing the future impact of new technology known as the “Internet of Things.” The bill, known as the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act builds upon the senators’ resolution, which called for a national strategy on the Internet of Things. This resolution passed the Senate last year in March.

Senator Fischer released the following statement:

“I’m proud to continue my work with Senators Booker, Ayotte, and Schatz on the Internet of Things. Together, we are working with America’s innovators to improve outdated regulations and update our laws so that this growth can continue aiding our growing economy.”

Senator Booker released the following statement:

“The Internet of Things is already having a major impact on our economy, society, and individual well-being. This bill underscores our strong commitment to fostering innovation, protecting consumers, and finding collaborative solutions to outstanding challenges. I am grateful to have worked with Senators Fischer, Schatz, and Ayotte on this legislation and look forward to continuing our focus on the Internet of Things and ensuring America leads the world in cutting-edge technologies.”

Senator Ayotte released the following statement:

“Innovation is the backbone of the American economy, and we must continue to work towards smart policies that foster creative solutions for people and businesses. Policymakers have an important role in studying the opportunities IoT presents, and I’m honored to work alongside Senators Fischer, Booker, and Schatz on a bipartisan basis to encourage our talented innovators and job creators. Whether its fitness wearables or cloud infrastructure, harnessing the full potential of connected data flow from IoT devices will serve to create newfound efficiencies for consumers, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes.”

Senator Schatz released the following statement:

“With more and more devices connecting to the Internet every day, we have a unique opportunity to continue leading this technological revolution. Our bill recognizes the enormous potential the Internet of Things holds and will give us the tools to make sure our policies help promote its growth.”

The DIGIT Act directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to complete a report assessing spectrum needs required to support the Internet of Things. It also convenes 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.

Click here to view text of the DIGIT Act.
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