ComNet's George Lichtblau talks fiber optics

From founding IFS to his new company ComNet, Lichtblau gives a fiber optics update


What you hear [about overseas manufacturing] is true about a global economy. This holds true especially in electronics. ComNet products are made of components. No company can make all its components and the reality of manufacturing today is that not all components can be domestically sourced. So many of those electronic components come in from overseas. I can understand why many security companies have complete product brought in from Asia from a cost perspective, but that adds a lot of variables that are beyond reasonable control that in the end can lead to a disappointed customer. I know from my past successes how to keep everything in balance, supply customers worldwide with quality products, support them, and have a successful company that just happens to produce their products in the U.S.A. It can be accomplished by finding good solid partners for your components and solid business relationships where all parties can succeed.

In announcing the company earlier this year, there was a hint of IP-based connectivity products that are to come. Can you shed some light on where ComNet is going in that space?

As the security industry turns to IP-based systems, using fiber for Ethernet is becoming commonplace for its greater bandwidth efficiencies. With many video security networks using managed Ethernet switches to manage network traffic and as an aggregation point with a Gigabit connection to the main network, fiber is the only medium that can handle the traffic over any appreciable distance.

At Gigabit rates, copper distance is confined to feet; with fiber it's miles. In those applications, the need for media conversion, insertion on to the network and network management on the edge is more important than ever. At ComNet, we've recognized where it's all going and in addition to our new point-to-point devices, we're introducing a full suite of hardened, warranted-for-life Ethernet network media converters, unmanaged and managed switches to accommodate this shift.

Our keystone Ethernet managed switch (CNGE3FE7MS) will feature 3 Gbps ports with seven 10/100 Mbps ports. This switch will give the user the opportunity to customize the switch by using Interchangeable Small Form Factor Pluggable Modules (SFPs). SFPs allow the user to tailor the switch to the application specifying the medium used (copper or fiber), number of fibers required and distance for both the Gbps and Mbps ports.

More info: You can find more info on Lichtblau's firm, ComNet, at www.comnet.net/.