Imagine a future where your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, coffee maker, thermostat, furnace, water
heater and room lights are all connected to the Internet.
Many people already work with dozens of professional television components that have Ethernet ports
on them and, therefore, can be accessed by a browser. This is a fairly crude version of what has come
to be known as the “Internet of Things,” a futuristic environment where our possessions all work
together to make our lives more productive and comfortable.
As outlandish and potentially fraught with security problems as that sounds, the IoT seems inevitable
and will likely be upon us sooner than we realize.
“The Internet of Things means that the true potential of the technology behind, and adjacent to, the
Internet itself finally gets tapped, in a way that truly benefits people, globally,” said Jimmy Schaeffler,
principal for IoTComplete.com. “It means we save money, save resources, save stress, save worry, save
labor and even though it sounds rather trite, it is true… make a much better world!”
Schaeffler is the moderator for today’s Super Session
“Broadband and the Internet of Things: Realities
and Myths,” 10:30a.m. This session will look at the
realities of the broadband explosion based on
industry trends, and attempt to dispel the myths
concerning bandwidth scarcity and our interconnected
COPING WITH CONCERNS
Certainly one of the concerns regarding IoT has to be
the security of anything connected to the Internet,
including the very devices we count on to run our
television systems. Most broadcasters and television
facilities cope with these concerns every day, and we
will all need to learn how to accept the role of IoT
in our personal and professional lives.
“To some [media professionals], the Internet of Things will be a lot that is new, while for others who
have experience with the concept and its limited current implementations, the future will mean more
sophisticated versions of what they already see,” Schaeffler said.
As you can tell from the name of his company (IoTComplete.com), Schaeffler works daily with the
issues raised by the concept of IoT. The top concerns that he’s received from interested parties are:
1. Who controls IoT’s “Big Data”?
2. Will the IoT infrastructure be adequate?
3. Will there be a lack of IoT standards?
4. How will we create/maintain IoT data
5. How can we maintain adequate and timely
IoT business integration?
6. How do we manage government policy and
7. How will we create/engender the best IoT
uses and practices?
8. When will the business and consumer
communities be ready for primetime IoT?
9. Which companies will dominate IoT?
10. Is the IoT right for you? Is it right for
Imagine that your switchers, cameras, transmitters, news systems, lighting controllers and literally
every other electrically powered product in your building is connected to the Internet. Who gets
access to the data they generate and how much is it going to cost you?
EMBRACING THE CONCEPT
It might interest you to know that some large television organizations are embracing the concept of
IoT, at least enough to dip their toes in the digital waters.
“One of the businesses closest to broadcasters is DISH Network, and the recent development of its
in-home smart-home service, Sage,” Schaeffler said. “Sage uses the Internet as the center of its
control of lighting, security, audio/video and temperature. Another company like Sage that has
gotten a lot of attention lately is Google, and its purchase of Sage competitor, Nest.”
Panel members for the Super Session include Paul Donahue, Doug Webster, George Schmitt and
Robert McDowell. Each brings a specialty to the table that can illuminate different facets of the IoT
Donohue served as an executive for Gannett broadcasting from 1981 through 1995, where he was
active in the management of Gannett’s 30 major market radio and TV stations. Today, he is chairman
of MelRok, a provider of a patented universal Internet of Things platform for energy and media
Webster is VP of Marketing for Service Provider Networking at Cisco Systems. He oversees the service
provider routing, mobility, architecture, thought leadership and go-tomarket teams with
responsibilities including messaging, launch, content, and program development on the company’s
service provider strategy and priorities.
Schmitt currently serves as CEO and executive chairman of the board of xG Technology, a developer
of wireless communications and spectrum-sharing solutions, and is a director of MB Technology
Holdings, xG Technology’s parent company. Prior to his time at xG Technology, Schmitt was chairman
and CEO of e.spire Communications, a provider of voice, data and Internet services.
McDowell is a partner at Wiley Rein, a Washington-based
law firm that specializes in technology and communications
issues. He is a former commissioner and senior member of
the FCC, and has been industry and government leader on
a multitude of complex issues in the communications field
throughout his career.
No matter what you think about the increasing
interconnection of everything electronic, the reality is that
the IoT is here and it is growing.
“This is a curve you want to be on or ahead of early, because
the Internet of Things will not be replaced; it will not get ‘old;’
and it will not do anything but become more important to our lives,”
Schaeffler said. “It is a topic that offers an almost bottomless pit of potential. Some would say, like broadcasting.”