Nevada County’s Internet of Things Task Force?

internetofthings_origdp-100309501-primary.idgeGiven the lack of knowledge about the Internet of Things at the last ERC Board meeting (details here), has set me to thinking about the potential for the Internet of Things in out local economy. Are local companies and start-ups investing in this new technology? Intel, IBM, Cisco and others are putting senior officers in charge of their product development and setting communications standards.

While local companies may not be large enough to significantly influence the communication standards, they will have to know which standards will be successful in the market place. Several different IoT standards are currently competing with each other, and more may be joining the contest soon.

As more standards emerge it is going to be important for local companies to be using the winning standard, if not they can get caught in a VHS vs Beta issue. Chip makers will be embedding the most popular protocols in their chips sets, and this will push acceptance of a single standard.

I would like to see the ERC create an Internet of Things Task Force and do an assessment of where local companies are in employing this emerging technology. Are they ahead or behind in the development process. Are they following the standards issues?

An Internet of Things Task Force could give our local technology companies an advantage. Rather than each company tracking the standards issues, have the Task Force track the standards for all companies, and share the information. This would increase the chances that all Nevada County companies would be using the best and latest standard, giving them advantage in the market place. And, giving Nevada County more clout in the market place, much like they did in the video industry.

Is this a credible idea, or should the ERC just sustain the status quo, and ignore the Internet of Thinks?

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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7 Responses to Nevada County’s Internet of Things Task Force?

  1. gjrebane says:

    Meanwhile ATT is getting all of its subscribers converted to U-verse touted as better than DSL. Don’t believe a word of it – it’s been a trail of tears since we converted, and now have slower Internet service and our landline on VOIP with incredibly bad connectivity and voice quality. But they’re working on it.


  2. Stu says:

    As a geek I understand the draw to IoT

    however, my “tin foil hat” side does not desire to have my well, holding tank, HVAC, pool, refrigerator/freezer, washer/dryer, lights etc. connected (and controlled) by some faceless nameless unaccountable “only following policy” cube dweller in Mumbai


    • Russ Steele says:


      I agree, there needs to be an off switch some where. The biggest hurdle is going to be security. It needs to be built in, not an add-on after the fact.

      We keep getting letters from PG&E asking if we would allow them to take control of our HVAC by installing a thermostat that can be controlled by a link with the smart meter at the corner of the garage. They started at $25, went to $50, and the last offer was $75. My answer was hell no.


      • Dena says:

        My house is all electric and doesn’t even have a fire place. If the power goes out, my only option is the charcoal grill on the back porch, flash lights and candles. A back up generator would be nice but for something that will only be used from time to time should be powered by natural gas and they didn’t run gas in my neighborhood.
        I already cut my power usage as much as can and am willing to shut off the heat pump if I hear there is a power delivery problem, but I am not about to shut it off so the power company doesn’t have to buy more expensive peek power.
        The house was constructed in 2007 and all the latest things like insulation and double pane windows were installed. The heat pump is 4 ton and one summer I hear it run for 3 hours without cycling and yes, the temperature was set to 78 (78 isn’t uncomfortable in Arizona).
        The power companies need to make sure they can deliver the power when needed otherwise we are little more that a third world country where the power and water only work part of the day. Power companies are forgetting they are in the business to sell power. If they don’t have enough of the product, they need to find another source even if it means they need to construct nuclear power plants!


  3. Dena says:

    In the beginning there was dial up. Then came ISDN. We now live with DSL and Fiber. Strange as it may seem, people still look at the internet with dial up while ISDN has gone by the wayside. The future will most likely be in fiber but even fiber may need to be replaced with faster fiber. Anaheim made a mistake like this. About 15 years ago they decided to update the utilities so they ripped up most every major street. They warned everybody they were going to do it so they could access the underground while it was open. Anaheim decided to lay down an extensive internet backbone so the business could access and earn money for Anaheim. What happened? The telephone company put down their own fiber and the Anaheim fiber went pretty much unused.
    The telephone company will provide what ever they think they can sell. If your business are clustered and it looks like the telephone company can make money off high speed internet, it will be provided. If there isn’t money to be made and the city goes in to the internet, the city will lose money.
    In addition, Earthlink wired Anaheim for public WiFI. A few people used it but within two years, Earthlink shut down the public WIFI and everybody went back to wired internet. The internet is changing so fast, be very careful where you spend your money or you may no longer have it.


  4. Russ Steele says:

    If your want to know more about the Internet of Things, Check out this list of papers:

    • Understanding The Internet Of Things (.PDF Download)
    • Understanding The Protocols Behind The Internet Of Things 5
    • The Internet Of Things Is A Standards Thing (.PDF download)
    • What’s Behind The IEEE 1588 Protocol? (.PDF download)
    • The Internet Of Things Needs Firewalls Too (.PDF Download)

    More details HERE:


  5. Russ Steele says:

    Cisco is focused on the Internet of Everything:

    The Internet of Everything isn’t about connecting apples and windmills just out of curiosity. As much as $19 trillion in economic value will be up for grabs over the next decade for businesses and institutions that successfully take advantage of the Internet of Everything.


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