The Internet of Things is often lauded for its potentially revolutionary applications. Indeed, IoT devices are today being implemented in many different sectors for a vast array of purposes. However, it is still unclear how IoT will progress due to challenges associated with both technical and policy issues.
Prominent technical limitations that may affect the growth and use of the IoT include a lack of new Internet addresses under the most widely used protocol, the availability of high-speed and wireless communications, and lack of consensus on technical standards.
A potential barrier to the development of IoT is the technical limitations of the version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that is used most widely. IP is the set of rules that computers use to send and receive information via the Internet, including the unique address that each connected device or object must have to communicate. Version 4 (IPv4) is currently in widest use. It can accommodate about four billion addresses, and it is close to saturation, with few new addresses available in many parts of the world.
Use and growth of the IoT can also be limited by the availability of access to high-speed Internet and advanced telecommunications services, commonly known as broadband, on which it depends. While many urban and suburban areas have access, that is not the case for many rural areas, for which private-sector providers may not find the establishment of the required infrastructure profitable, and government programs may be limited.
Many observers believe that issues relating to access to the electromagnetic spectrum will need to be resolved to ensure the functionality and interoperability of IoT devices. Access to spectrum, both licensed and unlicensed, is essential for devices and objects to communicate wirelessly. IoT devices are being developed and deployed for new purposes and industries, and some argue that the current framework for spectrum allocation may not serve these new industries well.
Currently, there is no single universally recognized set of technical standards for the IoT, especially with respect to communications, or even a commonly accepted definition among the various organizations that have produced IoT standards or related documents. Many observers agree that a common set of standards will be essential for interoperability and scalability of
devices and systems. However, others have expressed pessimism that a universal standard is feasible or even desirable, given the diversity of objects that the IoT potentially encompasses. Several different sets of de facto standards have been in development, and some observers do not