Thursday, September 10, 2015

M&A Alphabet Soup

Exciting Telecom Transformations

There is no doubt that we are in a very transformative time in our industry. Network operators are in an arms race of epic proportions to bring as many assets online to stay relevant. We are well past the dawn of packet switching, but the growth behind the cloud and IoT are still in their infancy. The M&A activity going on now goes much deeper than sharks taking the minnows. We are seeing Wireless Integrators consuming Wireline assets. We also have a wireline company consuming a satellite giant. These sharks are significantly diversifying their portfolios beyond where they have been before—adding more than just minnows to the dinner menu.

Not only are we seeing a large movement to merge networks, but several suppliers are in the mergers and acquisition mode as well. I could feel a high level of nervous excitement in the air walking the floor at the OSP Expo in Denver this past week. If change is the only constant, it was very palpable at the Colorado Convention Center. Several big changes are happening with some of our key suppliers, and I wanted to highlight each of those here.

CommScope & TE Connectivity CommScope Holding Company formally announced on August 28 that it completed its acquisition of TE Connectivity’s telecom, enterprise and wireless divisions. In a letter to their industry partners, Peter Karlsson of CommScope states, “To compete and win globally, we know that we must continually help our customers meet the world’s growing demand for network bandwidth.” The blending of product portfolios from these two companies sets the bar extremely high for any supplier to match the level of quality, performance and service that this merger brings to the table. Karlsson adds, “With this transaction, we are confident we will achieve that objective with greater efficiency, performance, agility and technology innovation.”

At Comstar Supply, we are excited to be a part of this transformation. As TE Connectivity is a preferred partner of ours, we are very motivated to sustain a high level of service to our customers through the transition. We are confident that the resources and solutions in front of us will strengthen our partnerships. Comstar Supply’s dedication to efficiency, performance and agility are in line with the current goals of CommScope, and we feel this will be a successful partnership as a result of those common bonds.

Pentair & ERICO On August 17, Pentair announced its agreement to purchase ERICO for $1.8 billion in cash and repayment of any outstanding ERICO debt. This deal will combine Pentair’s Hoffman Network Solutions division with a leader in bonding and grounding products. Comstar Supply is very excited about this union of service and product solutions. As we are already a distributor for both suppliers, this merger will provide a more cohesive approach to enclosures and equipment protection for telecom outside plant, enterprise and wireless markets.

JDSU Testing Instruments is now Viavi Solutions, Inc. Although this corporate change is by a split rather than a merger, this transformation is no less important. As of August 3, 2015, the change from JDSU Network Enablement to Viavi Solutions became official. Viavi had a large presence at the OSP Show in Denver, and their new name and logo was prominently displayed at their booth. They also have launched their new website,

As a supplier for Viavi Solutions, Comstar Supply looks forward to the new growth and developments that will result from this corporate spinoff. Tom Waechter, President and CEO of Viavi Solutions said, “Viavi is poised to capture the opportunities created by the industry’s transition to new network architectures and the need for increased network and application visibility.” Any network transformations require a new approach to test methods, and certainly innovations are a major part of adapting to these transformations. Comstar Supply is proud to be a partner of Viavi, a leading innovator in testing technologies. Just as we have done with JDSU, Comstar Supply will continue to support our customers through all of the network transformations to come with Viavi.

The best way to stay on top of any new product developments from these and all of our key suppliers is at our Network Virtual Tour, No matter where your network falls on the map, let Comstar City, USA be your guide to complete solutions including cable, connectivity, pathway and installation equipment.
Whether you're adding more fiber in your HFC plant, or taking GPON by the horns, we have a full breadth of diverse suppliers to cover you on every component of your NetworkX. Comstar City, USA is an evolving tool to assist with your network advancement from a high altitude.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fiber Blowing Road Show

Comstar Supply Takes Fiber Blowing on the Road

Fiber Microtechnology is an evolving sector, and the last few years have seen a flurry of new equipment, fiber and pathway. To stay ahead of the curve, Comstar Supply installed micro fiber pathways at both its Collegeville, PA and Raleigh, NC locations. This allows us to conduct modern fiber blowing demonstrations that combine multiple manufacturers for a complete solution.

Our goal is to educate contractors and end users alike on the new technologies and suppliers on the market.

Can't make it to one of our locations for a demonstration? We can come to you! Recently Comstar held a remote fiber blowing demonstration in Dublin, Ohio. A few key suppliers as well as several local companies participated making it a very successful day.

Sherman Kranz of Condux International prepares a 144 Count Micro Cable to be blown using the Gulfstream 400.
We've seen a renewed interest in Microtechnology, and there is still much to learn. The results are proven and the cost advantages are well documented.

Whether you want to know more about the fiber blowing equipment, pathway, cable or connectivity, we offer a hands on demonstration catered to your needs. Speaking of catering, we can provide food and beverage at the event as well! Contact our sales team today for information on setting up your fiber blowing demonstration.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Microtechnology in America

Are we there yet?

As a result of the renewed interest in Microtechnology, Comstar Supply recently installed a 4-Way 18/14mm FuturePath raceway on our property where we plan to conduct demonstrations and training sessions. Contact us if you are interested in seeing the FuturePath solution up close and in person.

4-way Futurepath Microduct installation at Comstar Supply
You can also find more information on Microtechnology in the Underground Construction section of our Network Virtual Tour, Comstar City USA, which is found at

While the product developments in MicroDuct fiber optic cable finally are breaking into the mainstream in the United States, these products are still new to many of you. I want to take a step back and replay much of the market spin from the last 15 or so years regarding Microtechnology. Before I fire up that hype train, I would like you to consider a couple of things.


 Industry Standards

Today our networks are built on the foundations set by Telcordia, ASTM, BICSI, ITU and many others. From keeping network performance high, protecting your outside plant from the elements or maintaining safety for your technicians and the public at large, standards are tremendously important. Since there are many new players in the microtechnology sector, you must consider your product options from a standards perspective.
  • Who does third party testing for the manufacturers, and what are they testing for?
  • What tests should they for your applications? 
Don't let price alone be your sole motivation, but insist on products that adhere to the standards and recommended practices.
Comstar Supply's Bob Hipp demonstrates Hubbell's EZ-Locate


Another great benefit to standards is interoperability. This allows multiple manufacturers to play in the same sandbox, which in turn helps drive down costs and minimizes lead times. If you want to explore a new micro cable or pathway solution, I encourage you to evaluate the impact of all the products associated with that change.
  • Will this cable require expensive, specialized fiber terminations?
  • Will I have to stock new microduct fittings or tools in addition to the ones I already use?
  • Does this product increase technician workload and training requirements, or decrease it?
At the end of the day, products used in your physical layer must work together from multiple suppliers to maintain the overall integrity of the network.
The concept of shrinking the size of your pathway and cable is easy to swallow, but the myriad of manufacturers and solutions can be the horse pill. At Comstar Supply, we can offer a complete microtechnology solution that maintains the standards of your network, and it would be supported across multiple vendors.
So what is the purpose behind the big micro push again? This value-added proposal is nothing new, but it is proven technology in the United States and around the globe. Utilizing a Multiple MicroDuct pathway system such as Dura-line’s FuturePath, you can realize the following benefits while expanding your network today.

More Cost Effective

FuturePath can provide up to 8 pathways for cables to be placed at roughly the same price of 4 individual 1-1/4” Conduits. Placing more pathways at one time also reduces the costs and headaches associated with permitting. Also placing more pathways at once allows for future growth at a significantly lower cost because you will not need to hire a contractor or place new conduits. You simply place another cable in the existing pathway.

Superior Deployment

Air Blown MicroDuct Cable through Dura-line’s FuturePath is a faster, easier and much less expensive installation method for fiber optic cable. Further distances can be installed at one time reducing the number of handholes required. The process of blowing fiber optic cable puts much less stress on the cable during installation, as well as requiring fewer consumable items on the job such as pull lines and lubricant.
4-Way Duraline Futurepath


Microtechnology is Green! FuturePath can provide more fiber capacity with less overall plastic. FuturePath also takes up less space during transit and storage, which translates to lower fuel consumption and reduced labor. Having multiple pathways already in the ground for future use reduces the need to dig up that pathway again, thus providing a positive impact on the environment as well.
These are only a few of the major benefits to a multiple MicroDuct pathway system. More could be realized in many other applications even inside the building.
You are probably aware of a few jobs where you wish at the end of the day you would have implemented Microtechnology. If you have not implemented a FuturePath solution yet, the key is to get your engineers and consultants in the loop now to plan this for your next project.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Comstar Supply, Inc. Hires New Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast

Leading Telecommunications and Utility Industry Supply Company Strengthens Key Resources

Collegeville, PA Comstar Supply, Inc., a leading stocking distributor of Fiber Optic Cable Supplies for the telecommunication, electrical and utility industries, announced today that Travis Winn has joined the sales team as the Regional Sales manager for the Southeast region.

“We are delighted to welcome Travis to the Comstar Supply team. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in the Telecommunications/Broadband industry” says Todd Rhen, SVP of Sales for Comstar Supply. “Our expansion in the Southeast and new opening of our Raleigh, NC location was the perfect fit for Travis who is a graduate of NC State and resides in NC. Comstar Supply’s growing team will accelerate our current efforts to better support our customer’s needs.”

Travis comes to Comstar Supply after 25 years of service to the Prysmian Group (formally Alcatel and later Draka) and served as their Regional Sales Manager for the NE for the past 11. Before that, Travis held various positions in sales and engineering including the Bell South Account Manager and Southeast Channel Manager.

About Comstar Supply, Inc.

Founded in 1994, Comstar Supply, Inc. is a full service Communications industry wholesale distributor, which offers customers a range of quality materials to successfully complete projects in a timely and price effective manner. Comstar Supply provides a large selection of materials and tools for immediate shipment from a state-of-the-art Collegeville, PA and Raleigh, North Carolina facilities. Comstar Supply delivers materials direct to the jobsite, or ship domestically through our various freight channels or freight free from the manufacturer. More information on the company’s services provided, key leadership, or history is provided at

Friday, March 13, 2015

Comstar Announces New Location in Raleigh, NC


Collegeville, PA and Raleigh, NC – MARCH 13, 2015 – Comstar Supply, Inc. announces the expansion of its growing fiber optic cable supply company into Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. In response to the significant fiber cable opportunities in the Triangle market, including Google Fiber, Comstar Supply will open a 10,000 square foot office and warehouse in Raleigh on April 1, 2015.

“These are exciting and important times for the fiber industry,” explains Chad Punchard, Comstar Supply’s President. “Growing our business in the direction of market opportunity makes perfect sense and we are thrilled to be a partner in the momentous efforts to bring fiber to the Triangle.” 

The growing demand in the fiber optic cable supply industry for the telecommunication, electrical and utility industries led to Comstar Supply’s 2012 expansion to its now over 30,000 square foot warehouse based in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

With its’ expansion, Comstar Supply, Inc. hopes to provide an opportunity for additional new jobs in Raleigh-Durham over the next several years.

About Comstar Supply, Inc.

Founded in 1994, Comstar Supply, Inc. is a full service Communications industry wholesale distributor, which offers customers a range of quality materials to successfully complete projects in a timely and price effective manner. Comstar Supply provides a large selection of materials and tools for immediate shipment from a state-of-the-art Collegeville, PA and Raleigh, North Carolina facilities. Comstar Supply delivers materials direct to the jobsite, or ship domestically through our various freight channels or freight free from the manufacturer. More information on the company’s services provided, key leadership, or history is provided at  

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Suppliers at Comstar Supply for 2015

For more than 20 years, Comstar Supply firmly rooted its success by providing the materials at the heart of your network’s outside plant physical layer. We are pleased that you know us by those roots, and you may also like to know how we’ve grown.

We've added: AFL, JDSU, Jonard Tools, Greenlee Communications, Hoffman Networking, and Vericom Cabling & Communication Solutions

If you’re not already familiar with these lines, here is a breakdown of each one including some of their recent product developments.


Providing industry-leading solutions, products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets; as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid.
AFL 21S Fusion Splicer
Currently AFL is expanding their Fusion Splice offering to include an industry first: an active clad alignment fusion splicer. This new technology offers a high quality, affordable V-Groove fusion splice machine with the added precision of active clad alignment. The new 21S Fusion Splicer machine offers a reduced price point with high precision splices. Other recent advancements from AFL include the revolutionary Spider Web Ribbon, and many new additions to their Noyes test equipment line. Visit AFL online at


Offering a complete range of communications test and measurement instruments, systems, and software, together with the expertise to help businesses confidently improve the quality and efficiency of network operations while reducing cost and increasing customer satisfaction.

Our focus at Comstar Supply will assist private and public networks with their ever increasing field network testing demands as well as private network operators stay ahead of the next ITU standard with the most cutting edge test equipment. These cutting edge solutions from JDSU include the SmartClass™ family as well as the ever popular T-BERD® Modular Test Sets. Learn more about other industry leading network monitoring technologies at 

Jonard Tools

Perhaps no other tool manufacturer today works as aggressively to produce the tools that truly make a telecom technician’s job more safe, efficient and affordable. You can hardly blink and Jonard Tools has a new product release published. Some recent advancements include the RDT-18 Telescoping Fish Pole with the revolutionary magnetic cable holders, and the Magnespot Reference Point Locator. You can now shop for Jonard Tools online at For more information on Jonard Tools, visit them online at

Greenlee Communications

Behind Greenlee stands a reputation that many electricians and telecom technicians respect above all others. With recent brand acquisitions of Tempo, Sherman and Reilly and Paladin Tools, Greenlee has much more to offer today’s Fiber Optic Technician. These new product offerings include precise and affordable fiber optic fusion splicers and OTDRs. We are pleased to support the Greenlee family, and you can find more information at

Hoffman Networking

With more than 70 years of experience customizing network solutions for the world’s leading providers, Hoffman has more than 12,000 standard products to choose from for your specific application. With the brands Hoffman, Schroff, McLean Cooling and Taunus part of Pentair Protection Products, we can offer the most complete cabinet and rack solution for the headend as well as outside plant network enclosures. Contact us today for the latest copy of the Networking Specifier’s Guide, or visit to download the Guide.

Vericom Cabling & Communications Solutions

Vericom Global Solutions is an industry-leading manufacturer of Bulk Wire, HDMI cables, Lifecycle Products, Racks and Cabinets, TV Mounts & a multitude of other products ideally suited for distributors, operators, repair facilities and OEM suppliers. At Vericom we find affordability without sacrificing quality, and we are pleased to promote the Vericom line. You can shop for Vericom products at, or to find more information go to

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Comstar at WISPAmerica 2015

Comstar will be at the 3rd Annual WISPAmerica Expo in St. Louis. Hosted by the WISP (Wireless Internet Service Providers) Association,  WISPAmerica 2015 takes place from Monday, February 23rd to Thursday, February 26th and focuses on educational sessions featuring technical, regulatory, marketing and business topics which focus on wireless broadband.

Find Comstar at Booth #202

You be able to find Comstar Supply, Inc at Booth #202. Visit us to see the impressive array of products we offer to the wireless industry.

You can learn more about WISPAmerica at their website.

Comstar Supply is a stocking distributor serving Telecom, Utility, Electric and Fiber Optic Industries, supplying them with materials in a quick and cost-effective manner.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Configurable Products, only from Comstar Supply

One of our goals at is to make finding the right products for your construction project easier than it ever has been before. Traditionally, you would have to either look through a long spreadsheet of part numbers, or had to follow a confusing "Part Number Builder" and hope that you were ordering the right product.

To solve this, we have created the "Comstar Configurator", which allows you to order a product in the same way you might build your next home computer. You only need to find the basic product-- a Duct Rodder for example-- and from there you can choose from a dropdown menu the cut length and color. Only available and relevant options will be viewable, so gone are the days of long and confusing lists.

Currently the following products have have the Comstar Configurator available:
Is there something you wish was easier to order? Let us know!

Friday, February 6, 2015

The All-New Fujikura 21S Fusion Splicer

AFL Logo
Comstar Supply is offering AFL's latest fusion splicer, the powerful Fujikura 21S.

The 21S falls between fixed v-groove models (12S/19S) and the sophisticated core alignment model 70S. We want to focus on one major benefit of this new model that is really exciting; and a feature that field technicians frustrated by cladding misalignment alarms on other fusion splicing machines.

Active Cladding Alignment Capability

The Fujikura 21S key feature is its active cladding alignment capability, making it very tolerant to contamination. The 21S is equipped with movable X/Y v-grooves, eliminating splicing errors caused by dust and other contaminates.
This means technicians can spend less time worrying about the cleanliness of the v-groove, and still allow for FTTX contractors to get a high accuracy alignment without the need for a high end core alignment machine.

High end features at a mid-range price

Even beyond the active cladding alignment capability, The Fujikura 21S incorporates features typically found only in more expensive models.

This includes:
  • Removable sheath clamps allowing the use of fiber holders if desired. 
  • A large 4.7" monitor providing a crystal clear image, even in the brightest sunlight
  • An electrode life that has been extended to 3,000 splices
  • Comes with a dust, moisture and dust resistant rugged chassis for splicing in the most challenging environments
  • Its surprisingly small, and comes in a innovative transit case
  • Two camera observation system
  • Software updates via the internet
  • Long Battery Life: 200 splices/shrinks per charge


Ordering Information

We're really excited to have this amazing fiber optic fusion splicer available to order online. The Fujikura 21S is available in a couple of configurations, depending on which accessories you need.  Below we have links to order the various configurations of the 21S, or you can browse all of our fusion splicers.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Raising Money for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

This past fall, Comstar Supply held the Earl S. Punchard CHOP Golf Invitational that generated a $105,084.79 donation to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). This Golf Invitational was in honor of our family member, friend, colleague, Vietnam War Veteran, and founder of Comstar Supply, Earl S. Punchard.
A special Thank You to everyone who took part in the first Quinquennial Earl S. Punchard CHOP Invitational. Thanks to the tremendous support from our Sponsors, Donors, Golfers and our Volunteers we were able to make the Earl S. Punchard CHOP Invitational a huge success.