Not unlike many new Comrex ACCESS customers, Bio Bio La Radio in Chile was very excited to put their new IP Audio codecs into use to cover late breaking news and sporting events. Not long after receiving their codecs, they were pressed into service to report on the Chilean Presidential elections and for coverage of the national soccer championships on ESPN Radio Bio Bio Sports. ACCESS even provided play-by-play of the Liberators Cup from Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Peru.
But when catastrophe struck the South American nation on February 27, 2010, Bio Bio used their ACCESS units to provide critical information to devastated listeners in a country torn apart by a massive 8.8 Magnitude earthquake that left hundreds dead and destroying much of Southern Chile. Journalists Maria Carrasco, Richard Jimenez, Rodrigo Pino, Jorge Muñoz used ACCESS Portable codecs to report on the devastation from Concepcion, Santiago, Talcahuano and Dichato. The journalists were deployed throughout the country in Bio Bio radio station vehicles and also in police vans to help establish vital communications. According to Alejandro Marnich, Bio Bio Manager of Operations, immediately after the earthquake “all of the cell lines were down for two or three days before we were able to start the news coverage of the devastated areas of the central region.” But once service was restored, he continues, “with the help of the Access we were permitted to go and cover where there was no other form of transmission. The most important for Bio Bio was the quality of the audio transmission.”
While everyone at Comrex were aware that their products had been used in situations like this around the globe, they were particularly impacted by photos that they recently received from Bio Bio. Says Comrex Managing Director, Kris Bobo, “We were setting up for the NAB show in Las Vegas when we received the photos from Bio Bio. We were awestricken by the utter devastation. We’ve all dedicated ourselves to making quality products for just these kinds of situations but there was something much more profound in seeing these photos.” She adds, “We are proud that our products were used to provide vital coverage in light of these tragic circumstances.”