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Tech firm expands to north, eyeing Lehigh Valley market

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO A data switch installed by Comstar Technologies, used to connect devices to a computer network.

Remaining relevant is the lifeblood for healthy businesses in the telecom industry.

Remaining relevant is the lifeblood for healthy businesses in the telecom industry.

Relevance means a fundamental willingness to embrace change, according to Kevin Flounders, founder and president of Comstar Technologies, a telecommunications firm based in West Chester. Last year, Comstar bought STC Services in South Whitehall Township, with the goal of expanding in the Lehigh Valley.

Flounders acknowledged the most critical component of Comstar’s growth and success have been a flexible approach to learn, a willingness to add products and services and an ability to keep pace with the constantly changing telecommunications industry.

He said the Lehigh Valley’s manufacturing and business base provided a great opportunity to expand.

“When we began in 1996, it was just phones. With each [industry] change, we’ve had to adapt,” Flounders said.

Northampton Community College had been a STC customer and chose to stay after the Comstar acquisition, said Scott George, manager of facility operations for the college in Bethlehem Township.

Comstar took over a multiyear project replacement of NCC’s entire telephone system, including a new location, at the time, its Tannersville campus.

“They worked until it was fixed. They never passed the blame onto another provider,” George said.

He explained that it wasn’t easy, as some of the equipment rooms contained a hybrid mashup of new and existing equipment.

“They found a way for things to work together,” George said. “They [bring] a personal touch to taking care of us. … Someone always gets back to you.”

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