Here is what President Obama’s budget has to say about the federal government’s role in getting broadband to the masses and spectrum to wireless carriers:
“The Administration and the Federal Communications Commission are continuing their work in 2014 to expand availability of spectrum for wireless broadband use through incentive auctions and by identifying spectrum used by Federal
agencies that could be repurposed for commercial use. In addition, through the First Responder Network Authority, created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, the Administration is also working to develop a highly reliable, nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for first responders.”
Very short mention, but not surprising. It will take inside a decade for federal agencies that are persuaded to give up spectrum to have their airwaves repurposed for commercial use. Reverse auctions, where broadcasters are incentivized to voluntarily give up spectrum for use by wireless carriers, are not expected to be held until this fall and if they are done right should bring in money to federal coffers as opposed to bleeding them. Probably the main reason why the budget statement is not long winded on the matter.