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Whitepapers | Free State Foundation | Seth Cooper | April 27, 2018

Free Market Policy Prescriptions for the “Internet of Things”

The U.S. economy is only in the early stages of the sweeping wave of smart device connectivity now widely known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Within the next three years, networked devices and applications will proliferate – likely exceeding 20 billion by 2020. Sensor-embedded networked devices will become an increasingly common feature of industrial, manufacturing, agricultural, transportation, and other commercial enterprises…

Ligado Networks has filed with the FCC an application to operate a network combining both satellite and terrestrial technologies to provide IoT support to transportation, energy, electric utility, and public safety sectors. Its application proposes use of mid-band spectrum in the 1-2 GHz range for its integrated satellite terrestrial IoT network. The application calls for Ligado to devote 23 megahertz of its licensed spectrum as a guard band next to neighboring GPS services, thereby avoiding signal interference issues. And Ligado’s application has garnered a consensus of support amongst mobile broadband Internet access service providers. Economist Coleman Bazelon concluded that $250 to $500 million in social welfare benefits would result from the FCC granting Ligado’s application. Although the FCC’s public comment period for Ligado’s application proceeding concluded in August 2016, its IoT network application still needs to be signed off by NTIA and to be acted on by the FCC. To realize the enormous potential benefits of Ligado’s integrated satellite/terrestrial IoT network, federal agency review should be finally concluded.

Read Free State Foundation’s full report here.

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