A new report issued today by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposes that the federal government repurpose the entirety of a 95MHz block of the 1755-1850MHz band for commercial use, and that to do so the government will need to share spectrum with the wireless industry. In the report, the NTIA echoes concerns from carriers like Verizon and AT&T over scarce spectrum, and claims that it's becoming increasingly difficult to locate spectrum that federal agencies can abandon. To solve the problem, the agency says that federal agencies and commercial users will "need to adopt innovative spectrum-sharing techniques" and possibly undergo "a phased approach to commercial auctions and entry." Currently, more than twenty federal agencies utilize the 95MHz of spectrum in question with over 3,100 frequency assignments for things like military radio, weapon guidance systems, and air combat training.
The report was created in response to a mandate from President Obama, who signed a memorandum in 2010 directing the NTIA to collaborate with the FCC to make 500MHz of spectrum available over the following 10 years, and for other agencies to work together in that spectrum effort.