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Internet of Things (IoT) 20 April 2016

Talking Internet of Things and Standards @Russian Internet Forum

Maarit Palovirta
By Maarit PalovirtaFormer Senior Manager, Regional Affairs Europe

The Russian Internet Forum (RIF), organised by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC) with support of other Russian Internet organisations, took place on the outskirts of Moscow on 13-15 April. This annual event gathers more than 7,000 IT professionals and other Internet enthusiasts to debate the hottest tech trends in Russia and to network with their peers.

This year, the Internet Society (ISOC) joined forces with RAEC to widen the discussion on the role of standards in an increasingly interconnected world. The Internet of Things (IoT) – or Internet+ as it is often referred to in Russia – has become very visible on the Russian policy agenda in the past months. The objective of the panel debate organised by RAEC and ISOC was to address the opportunities and challenges related to the ever more complex connectivity environment and to debate the importance (or not!) of standards.

Although often labelled as a buzzword, the Internet of Things will and already has influenced the connectivity environment both at technical and policy level. In the discussions, the panellists raised concerns about the influx of exported devices, which could become a risk to the Russian Internet infrastructure without some minimum standards. The business representatives in the panel were well familiar with the global standardisation bodies and procedures, but considered English language as a significant barrier to participation. Also, it was noted that in some specific cases nationally defined standards or guidelines would be more relevant.

We at ISOC firmly believe that global and open Internet standards are building blocks that enable interoperability, compatibility, and consistency across markets. And overall, our panellists also agreed on the importance of standards in relation to the Internet of Things and the wider Internet environment. However, a number of open questions remain: Which parts of the increasingly complex Internet eco-system should be standardised? And what would be the ideal division of labour between national and global standards bodies?

The Internet Society published an overview paper analysing the issues and challenges related to the Internet of Things in October 2015. This paper is now also available in Russian.

You can view the Internet Society’s paper on the Internet of Things at:

In English: http://cfdev2.internetsociety.org/doc/iot-overview
In Russian: http://cfdev2.internetsociety.org/ru/doc/интернет-вещей-краткий-обзор (link not available anymore)

You can also visit our Internet of Things page at https://cfdev2.internetsociety.org/iot/ for more information.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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