Internet of Things & Connected Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing changes to our daily lives at an unprecedented pace — far faster than any regulator, tax authority or governmental body can keep up. The impact of the IoT on every sector of the economy and everything we do, from education, communication, business, healthcare and beyond will continue to grow exponentially for many years to come.

Companies are realizing new value from traditional products by connecting devices to the Internet.  Ovens, thermostats, cars, medical devices and even articles of clothing now have their own IPv6 addresses and numerous sensors with connected capabilities.  In 2009, the number of “things” connected to the Internet surpassed the number of people, and by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices, according to a 2015 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report.

Equipment manufacturers are the vanguard of the IoT.  By producing innovative wireless modules and other necessary ICT products, manufacturers are ensuring the exponential growth of the IoT.

The IoT certainly offers tremendous money-making potential for manufacturers.  But, no matter how good the product, no matter how precise and thorough the product planning, design  and market research, at the end of the day all RF equipment manufacturers will have to deal with regulatory authorities before launching their devices into the marketplace.

Manufacturers must comply with applicable regulations – including (to varying degrees) equipment authorization, tax, and privacy laws – in the U.S. and internationally, or face substantial fines and other market barriers.   In some countries, authorities will confiscate non-compliant equipment and ban the marketing of a company’s products.

The CommLaw Group and its consulting affiliate, The Commpliance Group, can assist RF equipment manufacturers in speeding their products to markets, with succinct and practical regulatory compliance advice and processes in the domestic and international spheres. 

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:

  • Access to attorneys and consultants that are not only experienced in the applicable laws and regulations, but take the time to listen to you and design compliance and legal strategies that are best suited to your unique business.
  • Practical and streamlined assistance in obtaining equipment authorization in the U.S. and overseas.
  • Alternative fee arrangements for routine compliance services that will give you the biggest bang for your buck while ensuring continued regulatory conformity for your products and services.
  • Compliance guides that provide high-level overviews of applicable laws and regulations.
  • Frequent client alerts and advisories that keep you up-to-date on the latest regulatory changes and agency actions that that affect your business.
  • Close proximity to Washington, DC and the concurrent ability to represent your business before numerous federal and international regulatory agencies.
  • Experience in aecting telecommunication rules and successfully representing clients in audits, inquiries, and other enforcement actions.

Do You Need a USF Compliance Review?

The wide range of sectors that are reorganizing around IoT projects shows us that the legal support needed by companies active in the IoT sector requires a strong understanding of the technologies involved, coupled with experience in multiple areas of law.

Please contact Ron Quirk at req@commlawgroup.com or 703-714-1305 for more information, including a free initial consultation to discuss your business, applicable regulatory requirements, and how we may best assist you in taking on the regulatory burdens and challenges so that you can focus on designing and marketing your inventive products and services.

Businesses vary in their motivations for entering the Internet of Things (IoT) market.  Many are looking to new growth opportunities or new revenue streams from subscriptions or increased sales.  Meanwhile, others want to maintain or build brand loyalty, and they enter the market to ensure their competitive edge.

But while these businesses look to the future, many are neglecting to consider the regulatory and tax implications of entering a market with a voice and/or data transmission (communications service) component. Many more are ignoring cyber security, privacy and data protection issues that are imposed by countries all over the world.  In all nations, regulatory authorities can, and often do, impose significant penalties on manufacturers, importers, and other responsible parties that market non-compliant IoT devices.

In the context of IoT, everyday objects around us will collect large amounts of data that will be stored in cloud platforms and communicated to other devices and to other parties. Internet of Things projects are wide ranging and may relate to, among other things, smart cities, transport systems, buildings, eHealth and telemedicine, wearable technologies, homes, automobiles, industry and energy.

The wide range of sectors that are reorganizing around IoT projects shows us that the legal support needed by companies active in the IoT sector requires a strong understanding of the technologies involved, coupled with experience in multiple areas of law.