The U.S. Office of Management and Budget, at the urging of a number of government agencies, has approved funding for an effort to study the feasibility of combining radio spectrum to make frequencies available for auction.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were granted $71.5 million to explore making 30 MHz of the 1300 to 1350 MHz band available for reallocation for non-federal use.

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The effort to free up radio spectrum has been an interest of the agencies since the passing of the Spectrum Pipeline Act of 2015, which allocated funds for federal agencies to consolidate spectrum use and make available more of the spectrum that is in high demand for wireless internet services.

In response to the passing of the bill, the  FAA, DoD, DHS and NOAA formed a cross-agency group called Spectrum Efficient National Surveillance Radar (SENSR). The team’s aim is to create a singular presence for the agencies’ surveillance efforts, including long-range and short-range aircraft tracking and weather radar.

By working together and consolidating radar usage, the SENSR team believes it could free up a significant portion of spectrum that could then be auctioned off for use in other wireless technology by 2024.

Approval to continue exploring the consolidation comes months after the group submitted its SENSR Pipeline Plan to a technical panel that is comprised of officials from OMB, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). That plan was approved in January and sent to Congress for review.

Read: FCC Spectrum Auction Update: Prices Going Down, Who's Bidding And What Is It?

Next up for the SENSR team will be to make use of the newly approved funds to conduct a feasibility study, which will involve research and development, engineering studies, economic analysis and planning.

SENSR has also sought feedback from industry players on the possibility of surveillance solutions. The team submitted a request for information in January and is seeking industry meetings to gather information. It expects to hold one-on-one meetings with vendors over the course of the summer.

As mobile internet providers have started to expand their networks to 5G and launch other wireless internet solutions, demand for more wireless spectrum has increased and the government has made an effort to make it available.

Earlier this year, the government auctioned off low-band spectrum, which it obtained via reverse auction to encourage television stations to surrender their hold on the spectrum. The auction netted the government just short of $20 billion, with T-Mobile shelling out $8 billion to buy a large chunk of the spectrum that it will use to expand the reach of its LTE network.

Despite the seemingly large sale price, the FCC was expecting more interest in the auction. The agency was expecting to generate closer to $80 billion.