“To ensure appropriate spectrum planning and interagency coordination to support the Internet of Things.”




1. Introduction

On 10th of January 2017, the U.S. Senate introduced the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act that aims at addressing issues related to the growing number of interconnected devices in the U.S. and designing strategies for maximizing their potential and benefits for businesses, governments, and consumers. Although the Act is not extensive (its length is just six pages), it constitutes the first major initiative of the U.S. government within the domain of the Internet of Things. In this article, we will discuss the findings of the U.S. Congress as presented in the Act (see Section 2) and comment on the strategic plan for the Internet of Things proposed by the Act (see Section 3). At the end of the article, a conclusion is drawn (see Section 4).

2. The findings of the U.S. Congress

The DIGIT Act contains a detailed description of the findings of the U.S. Congress in relation to the Internet of Things. The findings are examined in more detail below.

First, the Act defines the Internet of Things as “the growing number of connected and interconnected devices.” The definition is broad and may include not only Internet-connected devices, but also phone, television, and radio networks. In our opinion, the term “Internet of Things” has a narrow scope, namely, the use of the Internet for controlling, monitoring, tracking, and interconnecting everyday objects.

Second, the Act mentions an estimate indicating that more than 50,000,000,000 devices will be connected to the Internet by the year 2020. This number most probably encompasses devices which are connected both wirelessly and by cable. This is because ABI Research, a technology market intelligence company, estimated that, by 2020, there would be more than 30 billion wirelessly connected devices. 40% of these 30 billion devices will include hub devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 60% of the devices will be node or sensor type devices.

Third, the Act states that the Internet of Things has the potential to generate trillions of dollars in economic opportunities. Forbes even calculated that, by 2020, the Internet of Things would be a market worth USD 19 trillion.

Fourth, the Act notes that, by utilizing the Internet of Things and related innovations, businesses across the United States can cut costs, simplify logistics, and pass savings on to consumers. This brief summary of the advantages of the Internet of Things is by no way exhaustive. For example, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) mentions that the Internet of Things can facilitate the so-called “next production revolution” (NPR) which is marked by three key trends, namely, (1) the rise of the digital economy, (2) the increasing importance and mainstreaming of knowledge-based capital, and (3) the spread of global value chains. Stacey Frederick from Duke University defines the term “global value chains” as “the full range of activities that firms and workers do to bring a product/good or service from its conception to its end use and beyond.”

Fifth, the Act points out that the United States is a world leader in the development of Internet-supporting technologies and its technology sector is well positioned to lead in the development of the Internet of Things. In this regard, it should be recalled that the term Internet of Things was coined by an American (Kevin Ashton) and a major portion of the initial research on the Internet of Things was conducted by American institutions (notably the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, University of California, Microsoft Research, Intel Research and Equator, and Georgia Tech’s College of Computing).

Sixth, the Act argues that the United States Government can implement the Internet of Things to better deliver services to the public without specifying particular implementation strategies. The government can benefit from the Internet of Things by using data from Internet-connected devices to make governmental decisions. For instance, information from sensors installed in cars can be used for the purpose of road management.

Seventh, the Act refers to the Senate Resolution 110 calling for a national strategy for the development of the Internet of Things. The strategy should have three goals, namely, (1) empowering consumers, (2) fostering future economic growth, and (3) improving the collective social wellbeing of the people of the United States.

3. The strategic plan for the Internet of Things

The Act envisages the creation of a working group of Federal stakeholders to provide recommendations to Congress on how to plan and encourage the proliferation of the Internet of Things. The working group will be responsible for examining the following five aspects of the Internet of Things: current and future spectrum needs (see Section 3.1); the regulatory environment (see Section 3.2); consumer protection (see Section 3.3); privacy and security (see Section 3.4); and the current use of the technology by Federal agencies (see Section 3.5).




A bill to ensure appropriate spectrum planning and interagency coordination to support the Internet of Things.

Introduced: Jan 10, 2017

Status: Passed Senate (House next) on Aug 3, 2017

This bill passed in the Senate on August 3, 2017 and goes to the House next for consideration.



Passed Senate amended (08/03/2017)

Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act or the DIGIT Act

(Sec. 2) This bill expresses the sense of Congress that policies governing the Internet of Things (IoT) should maximize the potential and development of the growing number of connected and interconnected devices to benefit businesses, governments, and consumers.

(Sec. 4) The Department of Commerce must convene a working group of federal stakeholders to provide recommendations and a report to Congress regarding the IoT. The bill establishes a steering committee to be composed of stakeholders outside the federal government to advise the working group.

The working group must: (1) identify federal laws and regulations, grant practices, budgetary or jurisdictional challenges, and other sector-specific policies that inhibit IoT development; (2) consider policies or programs that encourage and improve coordination among federal agencies with IoT jurisdiction; (3) implement recommendations from the steering committee; (4) examine how federal agencies can benefit from, use, prepare for, and secure the IoT; and (5) consult with nongovernmental stakeholders.

The steering committee must advise the working group about laws, budgets, spectrum needs, individual privacy, security, small business challenges, and any international proceedings or negotiations affecting the IoT.

Within 18 months after enactment of this bill, the working group must report its findings and recommendations, its reasons for inaction on steering committee recommendations, and an accounting of any progress by federal agencies to implement recommendations.

(Sec. 5) The Federal Communications Commission must: (1) seek public comment on the IoT’s spectrum needs, regulatory barriers, and growth with licensed and unlicensed spectrum; and (2) submit a summary of those comments to Congress.





Feb 3, 2017

5G High Frequency Radiation Small Cells on Your Neighborhood Poles = Contact Your US Senator’s Ask Them to PUT A HOLD ON MOBILE NOW ACT S.19 AND DIGIT ACT S.88. Small cells on a pole outside our home? A Health Risk! Learn more at parentsforsafetechnology.org  


Wireless Right To Know

Call Senators and Tell them to Vote No on S19 and S88


Vote NO on S19 and S88:
1.  S19 The Mobile Act Now Bill: This bill would exempt small cell 5G from Telecom Act.

Negative Effects:

* it  would gut local cell tower siting, local control and home rule and undermines the Telecom Act of 1996 which had preserved these functions.
* Having transmitters in closer proximity increases radiation power density as proximity to transmitter is a greater source of radiation exposure than the total power output.
* So called “small cells” will force exposure to radiation in peoples’ neighborhoods that will again, per the above create levels of radiation (electrosmog) in peoples’ environments that are routinely well beyond the level of extreme concern per the Building Biology Institute Guidelines and will create routine violations of the ADA and FHA.
* People should be at a bare minimum 1,500 feet from cell towers according to the literature. Radiation drops with the square of distance, so forcing these small cells in closer proximity to people will in fact increase their radiation exposure beyond what they would get from an inappropriately sited cell tower.
* The FCC’s 2013 Request for Comment on radiation exposure guidelines has not been reviewed, so there should be a moratorium on the rollout of more infrastructure at this time.

2.   S88 The Digit Bill: This bill provides a coordination mechanism to gut regulations on transmitter siting to build out a system to connect wireless-enabled objects, the so-called “Internet of Things”. 

Negative Effects:

* The Internet of Things involves having consumer items in your house that can relay information back to a hub and creates opportunities for warrantless wiretapping and hence breaches of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. 
* Already we have learned how Samsung tv’s record conversations in one’s home and how “Alexa” data has already been subpoenaed in a criminal case.  These are privacy breaches.
* The forced buildout of the “internet of things” will create levels of radiation (electrosmog) in peoples’ environments that are routinely well beyond the level of extreme concern per the Building Biology Institute Guidelines and will create routine violations of the ADA and FHA. 
* There is international guidance against such transmitter proliferation and while the trend is to reduce exposure there, the US is increasing it exponentially.
* The FCC’s 2013 Request for Comment on radiation exposure guidelines has not been reviewed, so there should be a moratorium on the rollout of more infrastructure at this time.

Both bills violate the spirit of the 1968 Public Health Service Act.


Call/ Write:
Email Addresses of the 100 Senators of the 115th Congress (2017-2018)
Not all email addresses are listed below. Although first_last@last.senate.gov is a common format, not all addresses are in this format and actual email addresses are difficult to find online.



RE: Markup of S. 88, Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, and S. 134, Spoofing Prevention Act