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Illinois Broadcaster Deploys Telos VXs

ICBC is using the platform, installed by Inrush Broadcast Services

Radio World Buyer’s Guide articles are intended to help readers understand why their colleagues chose particular products to solve various technical situations. This month’s articles focus on telephone systems and applications for radio.

WGFA has been a pivotal voice in the Illiana community, broadcasting from Watseka, Ill., since 1961. Founded by Dick Martin, the station emerged to fulfill the need for radio services in the underserved regions of eastern Illinois and western Indiana.

Over six decades, WGFA has expanded from a single station to three under the Iroquois County Broadcasting Corp. umbrella, still owned and managed by the Martin family. ICBC’s 400-foot tower continues to dominate the landscape of cornfields, embodying the slogan that inspired its initialism “The World’s Greatest Farming Area.”

Erik Bonilla-Sanchez, systems engineer at Inrush, checks the Telos VXs system.

The station’s commitment to local businesses and community engagement has placed a premium on listener participation. However, technical limitations with standalone VoIP hybrids led to frequent dropped calls and busy phone lines, undermining attempts to run contests, record farm reports and engage with listeners live on air.

In 2023, ICBC partnered with Inrush Broadcast Services to address these and other engineering challenges. ICBC embraced Inrush’s proposal to overhaul its phone system using the Telos Alliance VXs platform.

Inrush installed the necessary hardware, a small Lenovo server, at the ICBC studios. The physical setup, involving two network cables and power, was straightforward. Remote configuration, from the operating system installation to test calls via VXs, was completed in under 24 hours, aided by Inrush’s installation workflows and WGFA’s Livewire infrastructure.

The station’s staff say the introduction of VXs transformed its operations, with enhanced audio quality and reliability. Sports Director Andy Moore told Telos, “The difference is night and day. I can now confidently put calls on the air without worrying about audio clarity or dropped connections. It just works, allowing me to focus on what matters most: serving our listeners.”

[Read More Buyers Guide Reviews Here]