Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bandwidth Growth Driving Network Deployments

Consumer and business customer demand for high speed bandwidth has never been greater. From federally-funded projects to small cell buildouts, telecom network infrastructure improvements have become an arm’s race for technology organizations.

In addition, key telcos and other providers recently announced ambitious network expansion plans. According to a recent article from Fierce Telecom, AT&T and CenturyLink have set some ambitious targets for their FTTH deployments.

“During the second quarter, AT&T had only 2.2 million homes passed with fiber, a figure the telco expects to ramp to 2.6 million by the end of 2016. AT&T will need to build fiber to an additional 9.9 million homes by 2019, illustrating an acceleration in its overall network investment.”

“CenturyLink expects to reach 11 million premises at 40 Mbps or higher, including 2 million GPON-enabled addressable households and businesses, by year-end 2017. Looking toward 2019, CenturyLink forecasts that 11 million of its addressable broadband-enabled units will be able to access 100 Mbps or higher speeds.”

With this demand, carriers will not only need to have adequate access to outside plant materials and equipment. Comstar Supply has built an extensive OSP inventory from industry-leading suppliers to help carriers and contractors deliver high-speed broadband and power networks.

Fiber Splice Trailer at Comstar City

For instance, Comstar not only can supply a splice truck, but help customers fully equip it with the necessary tools and equipment for less than other distributors. From a fiber splicing tool kit, to splicer, test sets, cleaning supplies and other essentials, we have you covered. To start equipping your teams, visit the Fiber Splice Trailer at Comstar City.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Faster FTTH Deployment at Lower Costs

FTTH Underground at Comstar City
Fiber indexing is a novel approach to FTTH network design. CommScope’s pre-connectorized plug-and-play solution allows engineers to:
  • Deploy fiber up to 75% faster
  • Reduce the amount of cable required by up to 70%
  • Eliminate the need for fiber splicing
How? By changing from a star to a daisy-chain topology for connecting service terminals, and consolidating functionality into the service terminal. By using hardened service terminals with hardened multi-fiber connectors, this architecture combines the advantages of a daisy chain-topology with plug-and-play connectivity.
To learn more, download the white paper from one of our suppliers – TE Connectivity – for a detailed guide on fiber indexing. To order your FTTH products, visit us at

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fast Facts on Fiber Distribution for FTTx

FDH 4000 (front, open)
No space, no permit is no problem with Commscope’s Sealed Fiber Distribution Hub FDH 4000.
The sealed fiber distribution hub (FDH) 4000 is designed for superior performance in any environment. Its small, compact size minimizes visual impact for discrete applications. Leveraging Commscope’s proven hardened fiber optic closure technology, the sealed FDH offers a robust, technician-friendly and cost-effective solution for connecting feeder and distribution cables in the FTTx network.
Specific benefits include:
  • Ideal for low profile / discreet deployments
  • Leverages proven sealing technology of TE’s FOSC
  • Plug-and-play design for fast service turn ups
  • 144 distribution ports / 9 splitter slots / point-to-point configurable
  • Re-enterable
For more information on this and other products Comstar Supply stocks and supports, please visit

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Last Fiber Frontier

The demand for increased bandwidth is driving fiber-based last mile connectivity to every business. It’s also having a trickle-down effect to consumers as the Internet of Things (IoT), video streaming services, online gaming, and other applications are moving network capacity to unprecedented speeds to the home.

Certainly, we’re all familiar with metro fiber builds between cities, within a city, or other special project builds such as connecting schools or multiple government offices. These network construction projects continue in earnest today. However, building fiber to the home is quickly gaining momentum as the last frontier for bandwidth. Specifically, initiatives such as Google Fiber and other high-bandwidth residential Internet start-ups are spurring new network growth.

In fact, according to a March 2016 article titled, “Fiber to the Home: Getting Beyond 10 Gb/s” from Optics & Photonics News:
 “…worldwide FTTx deployment passed 100 million connections in 2014, and rapid growth continues today. In the United States, FTTH implementation has lagged relative to Asia; nonetheless, more than 100 cities are now connected with gigabit-capable broadband networks through Google Fiber and competing initiatives, mostly with FTTH technologies.”
A myriad of products exists today for deployment of FTTH in both aerial and underground construction methods. Comstar Supply’s wide product range includes everything from Passive Optical Network (PON) connectivity to the attachment hardware. In the rapidly changing FTTx environment, it’s imperative to pay attention to innovations in the market— especially if you’re new to FTTH deployment. Visit to learn more about products we stock and support.

Monday, October 10, 2016

5 Reasons You Should Outsource Inventory Management and Logistics to Comstar Supply

1. Experience and Expertise – For many carriers, inventory management and logistics are not core competencies. In fact, in many cases, it’s not only a cost component to their business from a time, personnel and facilities standpoint, but it also takes away the focus of the business. Comstar Supply has more than 20 years of experience in the delivery of telecommunications supply chain management. Taking advantage of our expertise can influence your bottom line while impacting your ability to serve your customers.

2. Decreased Capital Expenditures - Acquiring real estate, systems, and infrastructure for inventory management requires a large capital investment. Instead of tying up cash flows, telecom carriers should outsource this function. At Comstar Supply, we have warehouse facilities in Philadelphia and Raleigh, that can help eliminate some of these costs, which allows for expansion by not spending upfront capital.

3. Consolidate Logistics - At Comstar Supply, we can manage our customers’ entire inventory, warehousing, and transportation needs. This allows our customers to consolidate shipping multiple orders to separate locations with one company. This provides decreased costs throughout the business while eliminating sporadic shipping.

4. Scalability of Your Business – The telecommunications industry is in constant flux and reacting to market changes, new market expansion, and other large projects, is a game changer. As a result of these actions, your inventory levels, warehousing, and transportation needs, will also change accordingly. Comstar Supply allows its customers to easily scale inventory management and distribution efforts – taking the guesswork out of managing your business. We assist our customer and help them grow their business by mitigating these types of costs and providing efficient inventory management of their products.

5. Leverage Vendor Relationships – Customers can take advantage of Comstar Supply’s 20+ years of nurturing strong business relationships with industry-leading suppliers. This ensures we have access to information on new products and services, as well as on-site training and updates on technology impacting the industry. We continually update our knowledge base and train our employees on new game-changing technology to foster innovation at every level of our business. We extend that learning to customers and prospects through dedicated staff and resources, which guarantee reliable support.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Comstar Goes Hunting

Searching for Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross. Serenading complete strangers down on bended knee. Answering fun facts about the city of Philadelphia and company-related trivia.

These were just a few of the many tasks Comstar Supply employees were completing in a fun-filled scavenger hunt in the heart of Philadelphia earlier this week. Divided into 6 cross-functional teams, more than 30 employees descended upon Independence Hall as a starting point for this team building event organized by cityHUNT.

Teams dressed up in themes and were armed with a smartphone app that detailed challenges, asked trivia and kept a live leaderboard.
The winners of the scavenger hunt, team "MiB".

“It was a great team building event that in addition to being a ton of fun, also spurred inter-departmental collaboration,” said Dan Clifton, SVP Marketing for Comstar. “It was also one of my first events here as an employee here, so I learned how competitive our group is. It really says a lot about the company as we work as hard as we play.”

Monday, October 3, 2016

Efficent Outsourcing as a Competitive Advantage

Telecommunications carriers have been outsourcing non-critical functions within their business for years. Call center services, NOC after-hours functions, and even billing are typical activities residing outside of core competencies they outsource. A growing trend for carriers and network construction and utility companies, is to rely on third party vendors for logistics activities, such as transportation, warehousing, distribution, and inventory management.

While cutting costs is still a main driver for many companies, the reasons telecommunications suppliers outsource extend beyond the balance sheet benefit. The issue can be attributed not only to the degree of complexity and velocity of the company’s supply chain, but the expectations and demand of its end-user customers as well.  Other reasons why companies choose to outsource logistics include, but are not limited to:
  • Enhanced flexibility to grow based on changing business requirements
  • Capital investment in facilities and equipment
  • Increased focus on its own core competencies
  • Decrease management of materials by multiple contractors
  • Access to capabilities, time and personnel to manage logistics not available internally
  • Consolidation of existing facilities
At Comstar Supply, we can help our customers reduce costs, decrease the burden of warehousing, and allow for greater control of OSP materials and pathway products.
These benefits are especially critical as our customers grow and expand their network infrastructure, embark on large projects, or seek to manage critical resources more effectively and efficiently. We can build a solution that easily replicates itself across multiple locations or even state lines – streamlining processes while providing inventory management and logistics as a competitive advantage for our customers.

To learn more, contact Comstar Supply at

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Insatiable Demand for Fiber and why Allocation Makes Sense for You
Download the whitepaper from our resources page
The fiber-optic cable industry has soared since the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This legislature included large investments for domestic upgrades in broadband infrastructure – with a goal of bridging the digital divide in the U.S. – helping the industry reach new heights.

Furthermore, during this period, the need for these broadband connections for both consumer and business continues to grow. Just look at your phone and think about how you personally use apps, video, and Internet access in your daily lives. Count how many devices in your house are now connected to the Internet (phones, computers, tablets, gaming consoles, etc.) and how many will be in the near future (refrigerator, electricity, even full homes).

Regardless of the so-called "Internet of Things" (IOT) in use, all of the functions and communication are eventually delivered over fiber optics. The demand for fiber is insatiable and growing. It is the conduit of choice to deliver high-speed connectivity to the last mile for business and residential consumers.

But with this demand comes increasing pressure on optics manufacturers. Over the last 10 years, a number of factors have contributed to production delays and delivery. Learn more about how Comstar Supply can help ensure you have the right fiber optic cable to your business. Visit our Resources Page to read our new whitepaper on fiber allocation.

Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Misconceptions About Telecom Distributors

1. Distributors are basically warehouses and offer no true differentiators

While some distributors simply offer customers the ability to buy or store products, true distribution partners like Comstar Supply offer something more. Strategic communication between a distributor and customer allows for continuous value exchange. Compelling business factors from both the distributor and customer should be communicated appropriately for crucial support of each other’s respective business goals.

2. Customers lose margin to the distributor

According to a study conducted among vendors by the Global Technology Distribution Center (GTDC), economies of scale from distributors result in vendor cost savings considerably higher than 3-5%. From logistics to credit infrastructure, distribution vendors are in fact much more valuable to buy from than a direct model.

3. Advent of the cloud and other Internet-related tools de-value distributor model

According to the GTDC, as more and more transactions occur on the Internet or through the cloud, there is no substitute for the specialized skills and capabilities of distributors to drive the sales and fulfillment processes. While an e-commerce model makes sense in industries such as software, outside plant and telecommunications products require physical logistical infrastructure, storage, and inventory to support demand for one-stop shopping.

4. Distributors just take orders

Within the OSP and Communications marketplace, distributors not only offer products, but also machine tools and technical support. Distribution plays a vital role in ensuring customers are fully informed on technical specifications of products, as well as advising on configuration issues and compatibilities. Without this role, many new technologies would move far more slowly through the adoption cycle and resellers would struggle to realize their business potential.

5. Carriers and Subcontractors Would Prefer to Deal Directly with Manufacturers

While some want a direct relationship, most carriers and subcontractors have such demanding logistical requirements they insist on distributors handling the supply chain and providing the related transaction processing infrastructure, including credit provision. Large accounts want the ability to connect with vendors at a strategic level backed up with day-to-day account management to be able to resolve issues with the right level of priority. In some instances, the customer will deploy sales support that works directly alongside distributors to develop end-customer relationships.

Monday, August 8, 2016

How to Leverage Strategic Partnerships with Telecom OSP Distributors

Traditionally, distribution partners are thought of as Costco-like wholesalers, with a large inventory and little to no differentiation from competitors. Customers simply buy from a company that would break down bulk product and handle freight. But a few telecom distributors are creating a paradigm shift in the industry by playing a more critical role in the planning and delivery of outside plant materials.

Specifically, Comstar Supply differentiates ourselves by building partnerships with our customers vs. just being a logistics mechanism for their business. Our customers desire tailored inventory, control over inventory position, storage, logistics, and access to our employees - who know their business. And most importantly, they want communication. Our goal is to be build a consultative relationship with customers by focusing on capabilities and outcomes. This emphasis allows us to orchestrate multiple relationships with suppliers, while distilling customer business needs and prioritizing them for our customers.

"Our biggest challenge and opportunity is to educate our partners and potential customers on current market conditions and work with them to provide solutions tailored to their specific needs," said Todd Rhen, SVP Sales for Comstar Supply. "We’ve done a great job securing allocation and capacity with our supplier partners and allowing our customers to prioritize their needs for maximum results."

It’s that constant stream of communication, sharing of ideas, and building customized programs which gives our customers a competitive edge over their competition by providing speed to market for their services.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Comstar Supply Adds Industry Veteran to Leadership Team

COLLEGEVILLE, PA MAY 27, 2016Comstar Supply, Inc., a national distributor of network products and services, today announced Dan Clifton has joined the company as senior vice president of marketing. In this role, Clifton will lead the development and execution of all marketing and communications programs for the company.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome Dan to the Comstar family,” said Chad Punchard, President and CEO of Comstar Supply. “He has extensive experience working across a wide range of specialty areas in communications and marketing within the telecom industry. I’m certain his wealth of experience will only enhance the direction and growth of Comstar.”
Prior to this appointment, Clifton was the senior director of marketing at Soleo Communications. He also spent more than 14 years in a similar position with Fibertech Networks. His previous experience also includes roles with Mpower Communications, Frontier Communications, and the William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.
Clifton earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He is a Rochester 40 Under 40 recipient and has served on a number of Board of Directors including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Upstate NY Chapter; The First Tee of Rochester, NY; the Fairport (NY) Soccer Club; and the e-business Association of Rochester.

About Comstar Supply
Comstar Supply, Inc., was founded in 1994 with the goal of providing the communications industry with the necessary materials and tools to successfully complete projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. Through its Collegeville, PA, and Raleigh, NC, facilities, the company serves a diverse customer base that includes telephone and electric utilities, CATV companies, CLEC local/long haul fiber-optic companies providing combined internet, telephone, and CATV services. Further information about the company can be found at