The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 gave the FCC the authority to conduct auctions of licenses for electromagnetic spectrum. The FCC has since held numerous auctions, raising billions of dollars for the federal government. The FCC Auctions web page may be found here.
The FCC has scheduled Auction 86, Broadband Radio Service (BRS), to begin October 27, 2009. The BRS licenses are for BTA service areas encompassing up to 76.5 MHz in the 2.5 GHz band. The 2.5 GHz band is the same band used by Clearwire, DigitalBridge, and others.
A major auction not yet scheduled is the 700 MHz D block. The FCC issued the Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 25, 2008, which has generated numerous comments from a wide array of respondents. More work is necessary to capture Public Safety's requirements, establish reasonable minimum bids, and clearly structure the costs to Public Safety participants.