Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill meant to increase government involvement in the development of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

By a voice vote, the committee approved the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).  The bill would require the establishment of a working group tasked with identifying proposals meant to facilitate IoT growth.  The working group would include representatives from the Transportation Department, the Commerce Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Science Foundation.  Separately, the Commerce Department recently issued a Request For Public Comment seeking comment on the role of government in fostering the advancement of IoT.

The bill also sets up a steering committee that will include industry stakeholders.  Both the working group and the steering committee will examine a range of IoT issues, including the regulatory challenges that may limit the growth of IoT and the availability of wireless spectrum for IoT devices.  The committee also approved several minor amendments to the bill, which, among other things, expanded the government agencies involved in the working group.