As the Pace of Innovation Accelerates, Technology Standards are at the Forefront of Connected Societies

**This piece first appeared as an editorial on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) website on August 29, 2018. 

The technology landscape is constantly evolving as high-tech is developed, old technologies improved, and new policies introduced. As the world races toward a 5G future, technology standards have become more important than ever before. Standards—both new and existing—will be vital to the development and adoption of tomorrow’s technologies.

As an ANSI-accredited standards developing organization (SDO) and proud partner in the standardization community, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) hears from our member companies every day about benchmarking, sharing best practices, and establishing voluntary industry standards. During ANSI’s centennial year, it’s incredible to think about how far technology has come and the vital role paved by voluntary, consensus-based industry standards.

Standards make it possible to compare competing products, while ensuring quality. What’s more, they benefit public health, safety, and the environment. When you think about all that standards do, they are indispensable for today’s increasingly connected society.

Without standards, we would not be able to achieve the level of quality, reliability, and consistency that is essential for emerging technologies. And, we would miss out on the huge benefits that compatibility and interoperability bring for consumers and technology companies. TIA’s Network Assurance Program, for example, is creating standards that will outline network performance requirements and service level agreements needed to ensure consistent end-user experiences for autonomous vehicles, remote medicine, smart factories, and virtual reality—technologies that are still being developed, but which demand consistency and quality in order to function.

Smart buildings is another promising area where standards are absolutely essential—without them, each building could have completely different systems, preventing interoperability and ultimately hindering the development and full potential of smart cities. And, TIA’s global TL 9000 quality management system helps the information technology community meet supply chain and operational quality requirements and the principles of the ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems -Requirements, industry standard, enabling companies to demonstrate their ability to meet customer and statutory requirements on a consistent basis.

At the same time, TIA continually updates its core network standards, created over the last 30 years, which form the communications infrastructure and backbone that enables all of these new technologies and innovations every day. This past year, our industry standard committees – fully composed of private sector leaders, government entities and end users volunteering to address these critical issues – updated standards for cell tower controls and data centers to keep pace with rapid technology advances.

ANSI has played a critical role in the development of every major technology for the last 100 years, and it will continue to play an important role in the years to come. ANSI accreditation means integrity, thoroughness, and global relevance—that’s why TIA has been a proud ANSI member for the past 30 years, and will continue to be a proud member in the years to come.

TIA applauds ANSI on its 100th anniversary and looks forward to ushering in new technologies that will change the next 100 years together.

About Wesley J. Johnston

Wes Johnston is the Chief Executive Officer of the Telecommunications Industry Association.