Based on feedback from our contacts
in the industry, it looks like it could be a great year!
The Third Edition of Fiber
Optic Technicians Manual Is Coming
We've finsihed the third edition
of the Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, and sent it off to the
publisher. It's due out next summer. Updates include new material
on fiber choices (e.g. laser-optimized fibers), termination processes,
testing, high speed networks, etc. to bring it up to date as
of the end of 2004.
Fiber To The Home Becomes
Once the Bells and some CATV
some CATV companies decided FTTH was viable, they focused on
stopping all potential competitors, especially the small towns
and utilities that want to do their own networks. USA
Today 's Telecom Feature on Jan 4, 05 focused on Lafayette, LA,
which plans to build an advanced broadband network to offer voice,
data and video to its 116,000 residents. But local officials
claim BellSouth is trying to kill the project and it's getting
help from Cox, the local cable-TV operator.
There are similar stories from
Oregon and Illinois, where once CATV company reportedly spent
about $800,000 to help defeat a voter referendum on funding a
city-owned network in Rockford, IL.
The article states the Bells
have used their political muscle to gain concesssions from regulators
and create environments hostile to competitors. It also points
out that US customers of broadband Internet connections pay two
to three times as much as users in countries like Japan for much
slower connections. In Japan, a 30 megabit/s connection is $15
The FCC gave major concessions
to the Bells last year, declaring they do not need to share their
new fiber networks if they build to the home, but only Verizon
is doing what they promised. SBC and BellSouth are hedging, wanting
to only bring fiber to the curb or neighborhood, respectively.
summer we proposed
that the fiber optic industry again look at the idea of a "standard connector" - not
a connector for every application, which is not realistic, but
a small duplex connector for patch panel to equipment connnections.
We have publicized the idea and gotten lots of interest. Mostly,
we started a very valuable dialogue in the industry, focusing
on the issue of too many connectors and the confusion it creates
among end users.
But many responses we have received
indicate that a new "de facto" standard already exists
- the duplex LC. Practically all transceivers for gigabit and
10 gigabit networks already are in the LC format. Furthermore,
the MT-RJ has termination and technical problems (like singlemode
performance) plus is very hard to test, so it is fading. None
of the other SFF connectors seem to have made any real impact
on the US market either.
We are ready to
declare the LC the new de facto connector standard!
NECA 301-2004, Installing
And Testing Fiber Optic Cables,
produced by The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical
Contractors Association), has been approved and published. This
second revision of the document now is an ANSI-approved "American
National Standard" of the NEIS (National Electrical Installation
Standards" expands the original standard to cover much more
detail, describing the installation and testing of fiber optic
Users now have a reference document
for defining the installation and testing of fiber optic cable
plants in a "neat and workmanlike manner." Contract
documents can be written simply to say:
"Fiber optic cables shall
be installed in accordance with NECA 301-2004, Installing
And Testing Fiber Optic Cables"
Copies of NECA 301-2004 can
be obtained from NECA by calling the NECA Order Desk at 1-301-215-4504,
fax to 1-301-215-4500, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online
Two Models To Help Understand
Fiber Optic LANs
There are now two models available
for users to evaluate models for FO LANs. The TIA Fiber
Optic LAN Section has a model that was created by a multi-vendor
consortium to allow fiber/copper comparisons. Now Corning
has created a model also that goes beyond cost to include more
detailed design data and technical requirements for 1 and 10
Gigabit Ethernet networks. Access to the Corning model requires
registration with Corning.
If you are considering a
FO backbone or fiber to the desk installation, these can be valuable
resources for your design work.
FOA Website Expands To Support
Fiber Optic Educators
Instructors' Home Page And
New Online Train-The-Trainer Program
The FOA has always focused on creating better educational opportunities
in fiber optics - it's our charter: we're a non-profit educational
organization. We've done two things recently to expand that commitment
- both here on the FOA website.
We have over 120 schools and hundreds
of instructors teaching at those organizations, and we'll notify
them about these new web pages, but we invite any instructor interested
in fiber optics to dig in and use these pages too.
Our online TTT program is the
beginning of qualifying for the FOA CFOS/I Instructor Certification.
Soon we'll have the program set up for instructors to register
to begin qualifying for the certification.
FOA Proposes TIA-568 Standard
Work has begun on the third
revision of the TIA-568 premises wiring standard and the FOA
is providing considerable input to the fiber optic sections.
The FOA board, members of which have over 20 years experience
in fiber optics on the average, reviewed the 568B standard and
discussed these issues at length, then produced a document with
our recommendations. You can read the whole
PDF document here.
Jim will be attending TR-42.8
meeting in January to work with the committee in developing 568C
and representing the interests of our organization and our CFOTs.
What was the miniature version
of the Biconic connector called? The "full size" one
was the LA-1A.
The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber
optics. Almost 14,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 120 schools
as the FOA completes its 9th year. Since our founding in July,
1995, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting fiber optics and
professionalism in fiber optics personnel, focusing on education
and certification. We are continuing to add new schools and more
CFOTs as users of fiber optics learn that a CFOT is the indication
of a professional, well-trained fiber optic technician. Now with
FTTH (fiber to the home) finally taking off, demand for CFOTs
is rising and schools are responding by expanding programs rapidly.
The FOA now has approved programs
at 114 organizations, welcoming new additions like Corning Cable
Systems for their installation training programs and NASA's Goldstone
Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is
New PowerPoint Presentation
Introduces Fiber Optics
The FOA has created a short
PowerPoint presentation that introduces you to fiber optics and
talks about job opportunities in the field. It was intended for
instructors to introdcue studnets to the field, but it's a good
introduction for anyone. It's about 3 meg file so it takes a
while to download and you need PowerPoint to view it. See http://www.thefoa.org/ppt/
Don't miss Eric Pearson's Newsletters
- with some tests on connectors.
New sections of "Lennie Lightwave's
Guide To Fiber Optics" covers loss
testing of fiber optic cables and OTDRs.
Your Name, CFOT - It pays to
The FOA encourages CFOTs to use
the logo on their business cards, letterhead, truck or van, etc.
and provides logo
files on this site for that purpose. But we are also asked
about how to use the CFOT or CFOS certifications. Easy, you can
refer to yourself as "Your Name, CFOT" or "Your
Name, CFOS/T" for example.
Feel free to use the logo and
designations to promote your achievements and professionalism!
Remember To Renew Your Certification
Remember to renew your FOA certification.
All current CFOTs have a ID Card with their certification data
and we keep a database of current CFOTs to answer inquiries regarding
your qualifications if needed. If you forgot to renew, use the
form or the FOA
online store to renew NOW!
Want To Get FOA Email?
We have been asked if we could send the FOA newsletter by email
or post it on the website. We are looking into that and will definitely
get one started soon. When you renew your certification, you will
be asked if you are interested in email newsletters and if so,
you will be asked to give your email address for us to use in
a mailing list. If you want to get started now, send an email
to email@example.com with the
subject "eMail List" Note that The FOA never releases its mailing lists for any
use! Your data is always safe with us.
The FOA is managed under contract by:
VDV Works LLC
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
FOA Board of Advisors
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
F. Douglas Elliot, Past President
William H. Graham
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
John Highhouse, Past President
Danny S. Lyall
Eric Y. Loytty
Paul Rosenberg, Past President
Richard James Smith
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