Ofcom Readies UK Support For The Internet Of Things


Watchdog teams up with the Government to publish recommendations on how to maximise the potential of the IoT

Ofcom has announced plans to ensure the UK becomes a hotbed of activity and innovation around the Internet of Things (IoT).

The industry regulator has been working with the government and key organisations in the tech sector to understand what changes need to be made, with several areas highlighted for specific attention.

This includes working with the Information Commisioners Office (ICO) to investigate any need for current data privacy laws to be updated, as well as looking at how secure the UK’s information networks are when it comes to protecting user data.

Ofcom UK MapAll set

Ofcom’s recommendations also include preparation for the support for IPv6, the addressing system which should ensure the Internet does not run out of available domains any time soon.

Lastly, the watchdog will also monitor the wireless spectrum needs of the millions of devices forecast to be connected to the IoT in the coming years. Although the current capacity is enough, the watchdog says it will keep an eye on the situation and set about securing additional spectrum if necessary.

Ofcom says that there are already over 40 million devices connected via the IoT in the UK alone, and this figure is forecast to grow more than eight-fold by 2022, with hundreds of millions of devices carrying out more than a billion daily data transactions.

“The Internet of Things will bring benefits to a range of sectors and could change the way we live our lives,” said Ofcom’s acting chief executive Steve Unger.

“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 reach of the Internet of Things is set to explode over the next few years, with estimates from Gartner predicting that 4.9 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.

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