Toner Cable Equipment Inc. History
Like most companies, Toner Cable’s beginning was a humble one. After working as a sales manager for American Pamcore and a National Sales Manager for Jerrold Electronics–which is now Motorola Broadband–Toner Cable founder Bob Toner decided to strike out on his own in May of 1971, distributing multi-taps and antennas from his basement with the help of his three children and his wife, Shawn.
Despite an industry-wide recession in the early 70s, Bob’s small company managed to thrive, adding Sadelco and Blonder Tongue to its growing list of suppliers. As his customer base increased, Bob quickly realized he needed more space. So, in 1973, he moved his entire operation to a larger facility located in Horsham, PA, and then again in 1975 to an adjacent building that still serves as Toner Cable’s US headquarters to this day.
In keeping with his initial, family-run concept, Bob’s son, BJ, joined the company in 1979 to head up the satellite services division. Later in 1980, Bob’s daughter Karen was hired to work in the computer systems department.
By 1985, the company was on its way to becoming a leading cable equipment provider in the US, supplying multi-taps and passives under its own brand name, Toner Cable. And by 1987, Toner Cable was one of the largest suppliers of fiber equipment and systems for both RF broadband and L band applications.
1989 proved to be a historic year for Bob Toner and his company. While attending a trade show in London, United Artist Cable approached Bob in hopes of developing a specially designed tap for the dense housing in UK neighborhoods. That fateful meeting gave birth to the QuadTap, a device that allows for 32 or 48 tap ports in one housing with different tap values.
The QuadTap was (to borrow an English phrase) a smashing success, and between 1990 and 2004, Toner Cable supplied the Tap to just about every cable operator in the UK. This inroad to the European market paved the way for Toner Cable Equipment UK Ltd., which is currently based in Oxfordshire, England and supplies a wide range of equipment throughout Europe and Asia.
But Toner Cable’s expansion did not stop there. In 1998, as demand grew in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, Toner Cable established a Latin American sales division in Florida. Employing a friendly sales team that understands the language–and culture–of a foreign customer base helped these international outfits to grow and build their own systems.
By 2005, the age of Digital TV was underway, and Toner Cable was right there at the forefront of the new industry. Customers continue to look to Toner Cable to provide cutting edge solutions and assistance in making the transition to digital, as it’s a bit more complicated compared to analog systems.
In 2009, Toner Cable began providing conditional access systems, which have become much more affordable for smaller operators, thanks to the digital transition. Toner Cable prides itself on being a high-quality, yet affordable alternative to the “big two” that have dominated the conditional access and set top industry since the 70s. Since it began offering conditional access systems, Toner Cable has installed more than 15 systems, with sizes ranging from 300 subscribers to 20,000. Today, Toner Cable stocks more than 120 manufacturers and is the largest distributor for more than ten of those companies.
Having been in business for over 42 years, Toner Cable has grown–and innovated–at every step of the cable industry’s evolution. And it continues to do so today. In 2005, founder Bob Toner scaled back his daily involvement with the company, passing the torch to his son, BJ Toner, who is now Toner Cable’s President. Along with his father’s unmatched knowledge of the industry, as well as his own expertise, BJ Toner and the Toner Cable staff continue the company’s philosophy of having high-quality and reliable equipment in stock at reasonable prices.