Broadband Benefits From US Economic Stimulus Plan
Updated AFOT, CFOS Certifications
FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide Keeps Expanding- and adds Premises Cabling, FTTH and "Google Custom Search"
Tech Topics: New "Google Custom" Search Tool. See Tech Topics Below.
Q&A: Long/fast multimode links. What's the accuracy of OTDR length measurements?
Product News: Sales and used equipment buy/sell. See "Product News" Below
Worth Reading: Corning video, JDSU Webinar series on fiber testing. Fiber optic sensors on the web. . See "Worth Reading" below
Looking For a FOA-Certified Fiber Optic Installer? Use the FOA Installer Database Free! Almost 1000 CFOT's listed.
CFOT's register online to create your listing.
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|You can now renew your FOA certification online - and get an extra month free. Details here.|
|It's now CFOT®
The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) is now a registered trademark. With over 25,000 fiber optic techs holding CFOTs and the CFOT being recognized worldwide as the foremost certification in fiber optics, the FOA realized the value of the CFOT required trademark protection. Now it's official!
Broadband Benefits From US Economic Stimulus Plan
As we mentioned last month, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes funding for expanding broadband coverage in the US. The direct package has $7.2 billion devoted to expanding the reach broadband, with $2.5 billion handled by RUS, Rural Utilities Services (
Besides fiber backbones, wireless is an option in broadband, of course, and will be part of the likely infrastructure built using this program. But of the 10,000 or more jobs this program is set to create, many will benefit fiber optic techs.
This is not the whole of the benefits to communications. A major initiative is digital health records, with a necessity to connect medical facilities to high speed access also. That program starts with close to $20 billion.
FOA Updating Advanced & Specialist Certifications
The FOA has been reviewing all the certifications and updating those which need it, generally for technical reasons.
This time around, we have updated the AFOT which has until now only been available through schools to make it available to CFOTs with at least one year of continuous work in the fiber optic field. CFOTs can apply for the AFOT if they have the experience and can take the test online with a proctor.
We are also updating the CFOS Specialist Certifications for Splicing, Connectors and Testing. They will be available to CFOTs who meet the experience requirements and take an online test or who attend one of the CFOS courses offered at several FOA-Approved schools.
A big advantage for those studying for AFOT or CFOS exams will be the use of the FOA Onlnie Reference Guide as a study guide for the exams. Watch for more info on the AFOT and CFOS certifications next month.
Do We Need a New Internet?
The term "Wild West" was how Bob Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet, described the Internet when we were on a panel together at ComNet a decade ago. (Complete with outlaws, robber barrons, land rushed, etc.) When the Internet was created, it was for the use of researchers and government personnel, not everybody. Security, therefore, was not an issue. Now serious consideration is being given to whether the current Internet can be “saved” from hackers, viruses and spam. Should we try to fix what we have or start over with some serious concerns over security?
FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Is Continually Expanding
And Adds "Google Custom Search"
The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide is now available for use. It's not complete - we expect it to never be "complete" but always expanding! We want you to contribute and give us feedback on how we can make it better!
The new FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference website continues to grow. We're not just adding technical materials, but study guides to help you use it. Recently we added sections on FTTH, premises cabling (fiber, copper and wireless) and study guides for CFOT students, CFOTs wanting a refresher and anyone just wanting to learn about fiber optics. We also added a Instructor's Guide to assist teachers in understanding how the website relates to our textbooks and can be used in conjuction with or in place of textbooks and other references in class.
Wanted: Links To Technical Materials
Next, we're soliciting links from fiber optic manufacturers and other organizations that have created technical materials that would be of interest to our readers. If you have technical websites you want to share, go here for our guidelines for submission.
FOA Adds "Google Custom Search to Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide
There's so much information on the FOA Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide that even a well-organized Table of Contents isn't enough and when the material is always changing, an index is impossible to maintain. So the FOA is using the latest technology in search, Google Custom Search, which will allow you to search just the FOA Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide for any topic you want to find more about. Try it!
Go to The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.
Good Question! Tech Questions Worth Repeating
Q: Is there any convertor or X equipment that could transport 1 Gbps over standart MM FO cable 2 km.
A:For 850 nm we know of no solution for more than 1100 meters. We can select special OM4 fiber to make 1100 meters, but beyond that I think you will not find a solution. However, 1300nm is no problem and you will find many possibilities. Draka for instance offers our HiCap 50um fiber, which is optimized around 1300nm. I suppose our competitors must also offer comparable. (Thanks to Chappell Ryan of Draka Communications (
Q: If I test a FO link from both sides, am I suppose to get the EXACT distance reading?
A Contractor is busy installing some FO systems. The OTDR result from one side show 14,5189 km and on the same fibre from the other side his machine gives a result of 14,5577 km... to me this is about 39 meters difference. I try and understand this.
A: Let's look at the numbers: The difference in readings is 14518.9 to 14557.7 or 38.8 meters. That's a difference of 0.27 percent. The resolution of the instrument is 0.1 m or 0.006 percent of the reading.
How does the OTDR measure distance of a length of fiber? It sends out a pulse and looks for the returned reflected pulse from the far end. It measures this round-trip time and divides it in half for the one-way time. It then multiplies that time by the speed of light in the fiber, defined by the effective index of refraction, something around 1.4675 (Corning SMF28, a typical fiber.)
The OTDR measurement depends on an accurate time measurement by the OTDR, knowing the speed of light in the fiber precisely and the techniques used to get and process that information.
What's the "accuracy" or "measurement uncertainty" of the instrument? Referring to the
+/-time base error x distance +/- 1m +/-sampling resolution +/-index uncertainties.
The time base error can be 0.01 to 0.001%
The uncertainty of the index of refraction is about 0.1% to 0.01%
For this example
+/- 0.001% x 14518 m = 14.5 m or 0.01% = 145 m
+/-sampling resolution =? probably a few meters?
+/-index uncertainties. = 145 or 1450 m
Adding these up, we have a measurement uncertainty of at least 14.5+145+1=~160 m or as much as 145+1450+1=~1600 m
And that's applicable for repeatedly measuring the same fiber. From two directions, there may be differences on how the measurement markers are placed if done manually.
So the uncertainty of a 14,518.9 length measurement (+/-160 to 1600 m) is much larger than the 39 meter difference the instrument gave for bidirectional measurements.
The answer to your question, therefore, is the difference in the OTDR length measurements is due to the error inherent in making the measurement with an OTDR.
We're surprised the results were so close!
Everyone testing fiber optics should understand that every measurement has some uncertainty - whether you are measuring loss, length, wavelength, power, etc. Knowing that uncertainty is very important to interpreting the measurement. It's worthwhile to read and understand the issue of measurement accuracy covered in this page of the FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.
FREE Corning Video
Register for a free "At the Speed of Light" video. Go to:
JDSU has announced the See the Light webinar series, a four-part program designed for anyone involved in the installation, maintenance, and repair of fiber optic systems. It begins with fiber inspection and cleaning and then covers the basics of fiber testing. The webinar series then continues with the more advanced optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) and fiber local area network (LAN) testing challenges.
Interested In Fiber Optic Sensors?
Besides it's uses in communications, medicine and lighting, fiber is used for sensors. It began long ago with fiber optic gyros and chemical or acoustic sensors but has expanded to many more physical measurements. Now there's a website
IGI, a major market research and technology reporting company (the "Active Optical Cables" below) is offering a a free one year subscription to one of our fiber optics newsletters to FOA members. All they have to do is to send IGI an e-mail stating which newsletter they would like to get. See
Table of Contents.
Coming soon to a network near you - 40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet!
The IEEE is already working on specs for 40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet and have approved a number of new PMDs (that's standards-speak for Physical Medium Dependent - i.e. cabling). A summary of the proposals is on the updated list of network specs at http://www.thefoa.org/tech/Linkspec.htm.
Used Test Equipment – Buy or Sell
Number of Countries with Significant FTTH Market Penetration Now at 20 as More European Countries Come on Line
The number of economies where fiber to the home has established a significant and growing market presence has nearly doubled over the past 18 months, according to an updated global ranking issued today by the FTTH Councils of Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.
The ranking, issued twice a year since 2007, was released today at the FTTH Council Europe's annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. It tracks the level of FTTH market penetration in economies where more than one percent of households are connected directly into high speed fiber networks. In all, 20 economies met this threshold, up from 14 in July 2008 and 11 in July 2007.
The growth is largely due to the entry of several European countries in the ranking, as fiber to the home deployment begins to expand across that continent and the total number of FTTH subscribers in Europe approaches two million.
Asian economies maintained their leadership in FTTH market penetration, as South Korea (44% of the market), Hong Kong (28%), Japan (27%) and Taiwan (12%) continued to hold the top four places respectively.
Meanwhile, Japan remains the overall leader in terms of the number of fiber-connected homes at 13.2 million, followed by the United States (6.05 million) and the People's Republic of China (5.96 million).
For the first time, the Councils' ranking includes the breakdown for each economy between fiber to the home connections, where fiber is run all the way to individual residences, and fiber to the building (FTTB) connections for which the fiber terminates at a multi-unit dwelling and a non-fiber local area network (LAN) delivers service to the individual subscribers. In addition, FTTB subscriber numbers have been added to the totals for the United States, which accounts for much of the substantial increase in that country's totals since the previous ranking in July 2008. Copper-based broadband access technologies (DSL, FTT-Curb, FTT-Node) are not included.
The breakdown between FTTH and FTTB for each economy is depicted in the following chart:
September 2008 Update
About 13 million homes in the US are passed by fiber optics now - about 1 in 6. In spite of the economy, FTTx is carrying on and costs are decreasing.
Graph from data by RVH in Broadband Properties Magazine.
What Is The FOA?
Hear FOA President Jim Hayes tell the FOA Story in a 2-part interview by Sound & Video Contractor Contributing Editor Bennett Liles. It tells about the FOA history, goals and achievements.
The old story (not a joke!) about the most likely fiber optic communications system failure being caused by "backhoe fade" reminds us that digging safely is vitally important. The risk is not just interrupting communications, but the life-threatening risk of digging up high voltage or gas lines.
is a website called "
special interest is their
There is a new toll-free "call before you dig" number: 811
FREE Corning Video
Register for a free "At the Speed of Light" video.
Installers/Teachers - Carribean
A telecom operator in the Caribbean is urgently in need of 2-3 technicians for some contract work in the Caribbean. Looking for certified, experienced, and hardworking installers to workon several outside splicing work, cable pulling, and premise installations.
Qualified persons should also be able to do hands on training for aspiring junior installers on job site. Bilingual (French and English) is a major plus.
Folabi Trillion email@example.com (US phone 610 295 0243)
Carlson Construction Services, LLC., a DBE Certified Fiber Optics Contractor working out of the Atlanta area is seeking qualified fiber optic splicers and OTDR testing services for work throughout Georgia.
We are currently seeking:
4 qualified splicers
1 qualified OTDR technician
Please send all resumes and interest to:
PO Box 669547
Marietta, GA 30066
Or David Swales, Jr.
Do listings in the FOA Newsletter Work? Here's David Swales feedback:
We did great! We have over 15 interviews next week.
David Swales, Jr.
Headquartered in Hayward, California, our client, a successful and profitable Fiber Optics company develops and sells advanced micro photonic solutions that are changing the way their customers operate worldwide. Their breakthrough Fiber Optic Products are based on fairly new technologies that help clients save time and money.
Systems/Sales Engineer – seeking experienced Engineer to sell Optical telecommunications equipment to carriers!
The Sales Engineer will support Sales Directors for pre-sale activities and sales related account management for existing customers. Pre-sales activities may include completing RFP responses, evaluating customer needs (program and technical), performing the primary role of planning product demonstrations and evaluations (customers or trade shows). Post-sales engagement activities include account based product management to ensure that products are considered for purchase against competitive offers as well as for new applications.
* A minimum of a Bachelor's degree, preferably in engineering or computer science or equivalent.
* Aggressive "can-do" attitude
* Previous sales engineering or support experience with optical networking equipment
* Knowledge of GMPLS/Control Plane protocols (MPLS)
* Entrepreneurial skills
* Five to ten years experience working as an equipment vendor interacting with customers in Business Development, Sales Engineering and/or pre-sales technical account management roles for lab trial and commercial deployment of network equipment.
* Experience working for small / privately held companies is a plus.
Pay: They pay a base with a quarterly and annual bonus based on percent revenue attainment.
The travel: 75% of time: 2-4 trips per month nationwide; 3-4 trips per year to Asia or Europe
Contact: Angela: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiber Splicers - Canada (11/08)
Ledcor Contracting Career Opportunities
Under general supervision the Fibre Optic Splicer provides moderately complex work in fiber optics installation and maintenance, including performance and fusion splicing and testing. Ensuring the quality of buried and aerial optic facilities by overseeing the end result of contractor and/or in-house work and performing activation related duties.
Field Techs - Telecom and Cabling
FieldSolutions is the leading provider of quality field souring.
We have an immediate need for a field technician experience in TELECOM and CABLING to become a preferred technician.
This preferred technician will operate within a specific geography, there are openings for technicians nationwide.
The duration is ongoing- the requests last from 1-4 hours. The calls are paid hourly or at a flat rate depending on the nature of the call/ client.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Need a strong and flexible field tech to be a Preferred Tech for client to perform TELECOM/CABLING break fix work on a weekly basis.
This assignment is best suited for an easy going technician capable of taking on field related assignments with little supervision and off the cuff.
The tech should be able to handle something as basic as a punch down to the 66 block and as complex as a T1 installation and DMARC testing
TOOLS: Skills/Tools assessment checklist to be provided to potential candidates once established. Must have reliable vehicle capable of carry multiple parts. Must have unlimited cell phone plan as being contacted in the field for potential new calls is a must.
TECH REQUIREMENTS: Strong background in cabling and telecom type calls. Skills/Tools assessment checklist to be provided to potential candidates once established.
5775 Wayzata Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Fiber Optic Splicing Technicians
Volt Telecom Canada is looking for some qualified Fiber Optic splicers to perform work in Alberta. Our first priority is in the Calgary, but there may be other locations throughout the province as well.
Successful candidates would require good experience in spicing underground and aerial fiber optic ribbon cables. Copper cable splicing skills would also be an asset. We are currently looking for individuals who have their own truck and tools and would be interested in becoming a independent contract to Volt Telecom. Volt telecom will provide the fiber optic ribbon fiber splicing equipment.
If you know of any of your association members who would be interested in leaning more about these opportunities please have them contact myself.
Project Manager - Canada
Office - 780-962-6800
Cell - 780-868-0720
Fax - 780-962-6841
Your Name, CFOT - It pays to advertise!
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 !
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. You must be a
current FOA member and CFOT to participate in our online
database of installers, contractors, technicians and consultants.
If you forgot to renew, use the online application
form to renew NOW!
You can now renew your FOA certification online - and get an extra month free. Details here.