Before there was a company called CommScope, there was the Superior Continental Corporation, a manufacturer of coaxial cable for small independent telephone companies. One of the products manufactured in Superior’s Catawba, N.C. facility, which opened in 1967, was a struggling product line called Comm/Scope.  

In 1976, Frank Drendel led a group of investors to acquire the Comm/Scope coaxial cable division from Superior and founded the company that today is known as CommScope in Hickory, N.C. Drendel focused his early efforts on the fledgling cable television industry. The CommScope coaxial cable produced in Catawba would later help change the face of the cable television industry.

CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope Celebrates its Catawba, N.C. Facility’s Golden Anniversary.

As it observes its 50th anniversary, the Catawba facility is the largest hybrid fiber-coaxial facility for broadband networks in the world. Today, CommScope’s solutions can be found in: 

  • The world’s largest buildings, stadiums and outdoor spaces
  • Data centers of all shapes, sizes and complexity
  • Cellular sites on towers, rooftops, streetlights and indoors
  • Cable broadband networks around the globe  

“The history of CommScope starts in Catawba,” said Eddie Edwards, president and chief executive officer, CommScope. “The cable television industry became one of the most powerful communication industries in the late 20th century, and CommScope’s success there led it to establish leading positions in serving building enterprises in 2004, the wireless industry in 2007 and the fiber connectivity market in 2015. Who would have guessed that the company that was founded in the Catawba valley in 1976 would transform itself from a local company making cable to a world leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks.”  

As part of the facility’s golden anniversary, employees were treated to a party attended by some of CommScope’s current and former executives, long serving employees and local and Catawba County, N.C. officials.  

Catawba_50th_2This ISO9001-certified 1 million-square foot facility employs more than 500 people and produces more than 344,000 miles of cable every year—enough to circle the earth more than 8 times. Employee longevity is a cornerstone to the facility’s success. The average year of service at Catawba is more than 20 years, with a total of more than 12,000 years of experience employed.  

As the telecommunication industry evolved, Catawba’s role evolved as well. CommScope’s research and development, located at the facility, stayed ahead of industry needs by developing cabling solutions that would later become industry standards for the cable television market such as the Parameter III (P3) and the Quantum Reach (QR)—both still being used today.  

Today, Catawba is one of CommScope’s main manufacturing and product development facilities for its connectivity and mobility divisions including: 

  • Electrical to Optical (E2O) product line: a highly customizable solution that combines coaxial cable, optical fiber and/or microducts all inside a single ruggedized sheath.
  • Heliax Fiber Feed fiber-to-the-antenna (FTTA) solution: a solution helping service providers achieve higher efficiency with your remote radio unites and FTTA deployments while also preparing them for future growth for their cell towers.
  • HomeConnect RF solutions: a complete family of residential solutions like cables, amplifiers, splitters, couplers, and ground blocks.
  • Cable in Conduit: a solution of pre-installed coaxial and/or fiber cables inside high-density polyethylene continuous conduit to simplify installations.  

“CommScope is thankful to all the Catawba employees that continue to deliver superior technology, solutions and services to our customers and partners,” Edwards added.  

Besides manufacturing innovative network solutions, Catawba is also proud of being “green.” Established in 1988, the site’s award-winning ReelSmart Recycling Program enables CommScope to save more than 20,000 trees by reusing more than 100,000 cable reels every year.  

Edwards added that the demand for CommScope solutions continues to be driven by the rapid growth of data traffic and need for bandwidth.  

“CommScope enables communication through a constant focus on innovation, agility and integrity,” Edwards said. “We continue to drive innovation in networks and technologies with high-performance, high-quality products and many of those products are manufactured here in Catawba.” 



About CommScope

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) helps design, build and manage wired and wireless networks around the world. As a communications infrastructure leader, we shape the always-on networks of tomorrow. For more than 40 years, our global team of greater than 20,000 employees, innovators and technologists have empowered customers in all regions of the world to anticipate what’s next and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Discover more at

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This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently expected. In providing forward-looking statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: CommScope

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