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Welch and McMorris Rodgers Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Encourage the Growth of the ‘Internet of Things’

August 25, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Representatives Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) on Tuesday introduced the Developing and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, which will help identify and eliminate barriers to the quickly developing ‘internet of things’ network of appliances and everyday objects.

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

“To win the future and maintain our competitive edge, America must lead a new era of innovation in emerging technologies. 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,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05).

The DIGIT Act would convene a working group of federal entities that would consult with private sector stakeholders to 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. In facilitating this collaboration, the bill would provide input from private sector experts and prevent potential problems, such as regulatory silos. The bill also directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate a proceeding assessing the spectrum needs required to support the Internet of Things.

The text of the bill can be found here. Similar legislation was passed by the Senate earlier this year.