New US Bill Would Let FCC Increase Spectrum Deployment Based on IoT Demand

The United States is preparing for a boom in the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Representatives in Congress have pushed for bipartisan legislation that would enable the country to make room for the continued growth of IoT devices and devices that use 5G networks. IoT is one of the market’s few sure bets, as this technology expands year after year. The number of deployed IoT devices has been increasing steadily over the past decade, and it’s expected to reach 24.1 billion by 2030, for a CAGR of 11 percent.

While the increase is a given, the infrastructure to support many more IoT devices might not be ready. This is why US legislators want to increase the spectrum capacity to accommodate all incoming devices and avoid a repeat of the situation surrounding the early explosive growth in the use of smartphones.

“Cellular networks became overwhelmed, and the FCC had to go through the lengthy and burdensome process of reallocating spectrum,” said Congress representatives Suzan DelBene and John Katko.

“Now, IoT devices are facing the same problem,” they explained. “In 2015, a family of four had an average of 10 IoT devices connected to the internet. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that that average will increase to 50 devices per family by 2022.”

It’s a bipartisan effort, which means that it has a good chance of passing Congress. If the President enacts the bill, the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council will have to design a strategy that would allow for spectrum demand to keep up with the IoT offer, and not the other way around. The bill is not designed to open up a new part of the spectrum, only to ensure that the FCC is ready when that time comes.