Ofcom supports UK leadership in the Internet of Things

Ofcom will support the UK as leaders in the development and growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is likely to see billions of smart gadgets and devices wirelessly connected to the internet and each other.

Through collaboration with industry and government, Ofcom seeks to establish a regulatory environment that will encourage investment and innovation across IoT applications.

From agriculture and energy to transport and healthcare, the interconnection of smart technology in the existing internet infrastructure can affect profound change in the lives of the consumer and the development of society.

Steve Unger, acting Ofcom chief executive, said: “The Internet of Things will bring benefits to a range of sectors and could change the way we live our lives.

“As a result of this growth, we have listened closely to industry and want to develop a framework for this technology to evolve in a way which will ultimately benefit citizens and consumers.”

Ofcom provides the case study of IoT farming that use remote sensors to distribute water effectively and ensure ideal storage conditions after harvest, thereby yielding healthy, nutritious and eco-friendly crops.

Other IoT applications include intelligent traffic management systems and smart energy grids, which match power generated to consumers’ electricity needs.

With this enormous potential come a range of issues for Ofcom to investigate and resolve. Spectrum availability will be a key factor in the proliferation of IoT and will require regular monitoring to ensure availability. Thorough investigation into data privacy is also necessary as existing legislation, such as the Data Protection Act 1998, may not be equipped to deal with the complex infrastructure the IoT presents.

DTG Staff  |  28.01.2015

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