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  5. First Approval of Demonstration Plan under the Regulatory Sandbox Scheme

First Approval of Demonstration Plan under the Regulatory Sandbox Scheme

Demonstration for connection of household equipment through a high-speed power-line communication (PLC) system as an effort toward the realization of IoT society

December 26, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) approved a demonstration plan for connection of household equipment through a high-speed power-line communication (PLC)* system toward the realization of IoT society, a project that Panasonic Corporation will take on. This is the first case approved under the Regulatory Sandbox Scheme.

1. Utilization of the Scheme for Demonstration of New Technologies (Regulatory Sandbox Scheme)

Under the Act of Special Measures for Productivity Improvement, which entered into force on June 6, 2018, the Scheme for Demonstration of New Technologies (what is so-called the “Regulatory Sandbox Scheme”), was established to encourage companies to promote business activities taking advantage of new technologies or business models. As one of the efforts for promoting the regulatory reforms, this scheme aims to: encourage companies to promptly conduct demonstrations through development of environments in which businesses are able to conduct demonstrations of new technologies and business models by limiting participants or the test period without being restricted by the existing regulations; and to make information and documents prompting regulatory reform as outcomes of such demonstration.

Under this scheme, a person who intends to embark on a demonstration of new technologies, should prepare a Demonstration Plan of New Technologies (hereinafter referred to as the “plan”) and submit the plan to the competent ministers (the ministers with jurisdiction over businesses developing new technologies, etc. and the minister for the regulations). In response to receiving the plan, the competent ministers should determine whether or not they approve the plan after they take into consideration the opinions of the Innovative Technology/Business-model Evaluation Committee. As for the plan that Panasonic Corporation has submitted, the METI Minister serves as the minister with jurisdiction over the business developing the new technology and the minister for the regulations.

2. Outline of Panasonic Corporation’s plan and approval thereof

The plan submitted by Panasonic Corporation aims to test the connection of electric equipment in which high-speed PLC devices are installed, e.g., power strips, lighting equipment, microwave ovens, air-conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines, so as to confirm that such connection secures the safe use in accordance with the Electrical Appliances and Materials Safety Act with no concerns over the occurrence of noise that disturbs communication or broadcasting activities.

*Note: Power line communication (PLC) is a communication system through which users are able to communicate using the existing power lines as communication lines without installing additional communication cables.

METI approved the plan since the plan is considered to satisfy the requirements for approval under the provisions of Article 11 (4) of the Act of Special Measures for Productivity Improvement.

The results and other outcomes of the demonstration are expected to contribute to promoting the establishment of a home network base appropriate for the IoT era.

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