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Ofcom launches internet of things consultation

Communications regulator asks how the UK can promote investment and innovation around the internet of things

Communications regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation on the internet of things (IoT), seeking to explore how the UK can invest and innovate in the connected world.

The consultation will run until October 2014, with input sought over how Ofcom should proceed in policy areas relating to the IoT, such as management and allocation of radio spectrum usage; resilience and network capacity; the transition from IPv4 to IPv6; data privacy and regulation and even, potentially, managing phone numbers.

The regulator wants to understand if it should adopt a more proactive role to begin with, and if the industry considers there are any new areas of policy where it may need to take a role.

Such areas, it suggested, could include potential barriers to the successful and useful exploitation of big data to benefit UK citizens and businesses.

Ofcom said: “The IoT will lead to the introduction of many new and innovative services. It will allow data to be transmitted between many different types of devices, improving the safety of transportation, reducing the consumption of energy and improving our health.

“Over the next few years, this is likely to be a major driver of investment and innovation in the communications sector, delivering significant benefits to citizens and consumers. In the longer term the IoT could change the way we live our lives.

“The aim of this Call for Input is to allow us to develop a better understanding of these developments and of the role that we need to play to ensure that the UK takes a leading role in the emergence of the IoT."

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