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Making Laws For The Internet Of Things (Part 1)

Under the reference article released by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the ‘National Telecom M2M Roadmap’, machine to machine (M2M) learning is highlighted as a critical area to make headway in to secure India’s future economic prosperity. However M2M along with the technology that enables it, the Internet of Things (IoT) can only be adopted by the various industries if policymakers create and revise regulations to allow for this somewhat high-risk and incredibly new technology to be used with more freedom than allowed for existing IT infrastructure.

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Making Laws For The Internet Of Things (Part 1)
Making Laws For The Internet Of Things (Part 1)

Here’s what a few global leaders suggested that Indian policymakers should do:

Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud, senior policy executive digital economy, and ICC BASIS director for the International Chamber of Commerce said:

“Policymakers must be interested in the Internet of Everything (IoE) that creates incredible opportunity; it goes beyond connected fridges. You have application cases in medical research, resource management and environment sustainability here.

Research shows that 20 per cent reduction in global carbon dioxide emission levels, 11 trillion dollars in economic benefits across sectors using such progressive technologies while crop yield can be increased by 30 per cent and save 300 trillion litres of water and 25 billion barrels of oil a year.

We must spread awareness about the potential of IoE all the while evaluating options, policies, and setting up the right kinds of dialogue to get the policy choices right.

I also caution against needless restrictions and burdens like geo mandates and processing limits by government regulators. It will only limit the benefits of IoE.”

Eric Loeb, senior vice president, AT&T Services, Inc. which is one of the largest
American telecom service providers said:

“We should focus more on problems rather than the number of connected devices and other numbers like that. Whether agriculture or manufacturing, the revenue that can be generated can be improved across India immensely. Forget eKYC and even the numbering scheme E.164,” he said highlighting how much more potential M2M has. A surprising contradiction given how much resources and attention is being given to eKYC under paperless, Digital India initiatives.

“The policies here should be different, it’s machines communicating and sending signals between each other, it’s the kind of thing that will need greater national coordination. You will need private and public cooperation for this else the framework will be confusing and inconsistent. The policy makers should more importantly discuss what must be solved rather than how it must be solved.

He cited how the government of Germany changed laws to accommodate M2M vehicles and devices which are to be marketed internationally across geo political borders. With the change in law hitherto prohibited use of international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) beyond the jurisdiction of place of issue has been lifted thus making it easier for businesses dealing in this sector.

Cheryl Miller, director for international regulatory affairs of American broadband telecom provider Verizon said:

“There are a number of opportunities with IoT – whether economic growth, safety, sustainability, telemedicine, telematics, manufacturing – opportunity for benefitting in these areas all line up neatly.

Another topic evolving in creating policy for M2M are the concerns related to territory but projects are evolving in a way that it can’t be restricted by conventional views on territory either. New synergies are forming. Benefits are broader than just connected devices and addresses real world problems. If you have an easy policy environment it’s easier to figure out the framework. When I worked as a government regulator it was always easier to form regulations after listening to businesses and other civilian stakeholders. Outcomes were always better and made long standing flexible growth. You need enabling policy, you don’t want to stifle growth. Data flow is very important to this segment.”

These views were shared at the India Telecom conference.

This year’s India Telecom conference ran under the theme, “Transforming India” and took a serious look at what needed to be done by policy makers and all stakeholders to tip India over its prevailing barriers to become an economy and a nation of people ready to tap the best of the digital era. The conference was jointly organized by the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & industry (FICCI).

Experts across the IT ecosystem, both local and international – government officials, regulatory authorities, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and academicians presented their side of the story to reformers and policy makers at India’s leading international ICT dialogue taking place under the theme, “Transforming India.”

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