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January 27, 2015

Ofcom updates regulatory outlook for Internet of Things

Regulator announces plans to understand the range of issues that might affect successful IoT development.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The UK broadcasting watchdog has taken steps to accommodate the Internet of Things (IoT) market, in a bid to bolster investment, regulations and innovation for IoT-related technologies.

Ofcom today announced plans to work closely with government, the Information Commissioner’s Office and IoT industry in order to understand the range of issues that might affect successful development of IoT in the UK.

As part of its plans, the regulator is monitoring the IoT’s spectrum needs to identify if additional spectrum is needed and to explore new ways in which to deal with data privacy issues.

To support this, Ofcom has already released spectrum for machine to machine uses, which makes the UK among the first countries in Europe to do so.

Steve Unger, Ofcom’s Acting CEO, 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."

The proposals will also see Ofcom investigate how its activities on security and resilience of the UK’s communications networks can include the IoT, and monitor the progress being made by internet service providers in supporting IPv6 connectivity.

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