Is “tolling” available for stations off the air or unable to complete modification construction as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency?
Tolling is the extension of a period of time such as a construction permit or the 365 day limit a station can be silent as a result of an incident that is not in the applicant/licensee’s control.
As of March 19, 2020, we have not received any specific guidance on this issue. For now, if your station is in this situation, please contact REC so we can review the case. Please make sure that you document EVERYTHING as a very compelling case would need to be made. Tolling for construction permits will allow the applicant more time to finish the construction. Tolling a silent station will allow the station to operate, despite Section 312(g) of the Communications Act after 365 days of non-operation.
Again, for now, assume that tolling is not available.