McMorris Rodgers promotes growth of internet of things network with new bill

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) this week introduced the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act to spur innovation by helping to identify and eliminate barriers to the internet of things (IoT) network.

“To win the future and maintain our competitive edge, America must lead a new era of innovation in emerging technologies,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.

The bipartisan legislation, H.R. 8115, was introduced on Aug. 25 with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT). The DIGIT Act would establish a working group of federal entities that would consult with private sector stakeholders to provide recommendations to Congress about how to plan for the growth of the internet of things in the United States and how to encourage its continued development, according to information released by Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ office.

“IoT and the development of connected devices have the potential to raise our standard of living, create jobs here at home, and empower innovators to improve the world around us. The DIGIT Act will spur IoT innovation and help ensure the demand for wireless spectrum is met to achieve these goals and beat China in the global economy.”

The legislation also directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a proceeding to review and assess the spectrum needs required to support the internet of things. The FCC would then be required to submit a summary report of its findings, no later than a year after enactment of the bill, to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and each member of the working group, according to the legislation text.

“Small businesses, farmers and American families are already benefitting from the internet of things,” Rep. Welch said. “This bill will help make sure that innovation continues and that our nation remains a leader in connected technology.”

The House bill is similar to S. 1611, which passed the Senate earlier this year after being introduced by bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE).