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KSAs – Knowedge, Skills And Abiities For FOA Certifications


The ability to perform any job requires certain knowledge, skills, and abilities commonly referred to as “KSAs.” Each of the these "competencies" reflect current industry requirement for fiber optic/premises cabling technicians and have been developed with the assistance of FOA advisors, many with over 30 years of experience in actual installations. Also, the KSA's are constantly updated to insure FOA certifications continue to fulfill current industry needs.

For those working in the field who wish to become FOA certified, it is also a list of relevant topics for study, whether using the FOA textbooks or the FOA Online Reference Guide or Study Guides.


About FOA Certifications

 

Click on any certification to jump to that certification's KSAs


Primary Certifications: CFOT,  CPCT, CFOS/D


Skills Certifications: CFOS/O, CFOS/S, CFOS/C, CFOS/T, CFOS/FC


Applications Certifications: CFOS/H, CFOS/DC, CFOS/L, CFOS/W, CFOS/A, CFOS/DAS

 



 

KSAs for CFOT - Certified Fiber Optic Technician - Basic Fiber Optic Certification


CFOT® - Certified Fiber Optic Technician - is the primary FOA certification for all fiber optic technicians, regardless of the applications in which they work. CFOTs have basic knowledge, skills and abilities in fiber optics that can be applied to almost any job type and for almost any application involving fiber optics.

 

FOA CFOT certification is based on an extensive knowledge of fiber optics technology, components, processes and applications as well as demonstrated skills in appropriate tasks. The CFOT certification has been structured as a general technology certification, not aligned to any specific job function. It is used by all installers, both outside plant and premises installers, two very different applications, plus component manufacturing technicians, network managers, network designers, etc. A well-prepared fiber optic technician will have a CFOT plus appropriate specialist certifications (CFOS) for the skills needed for the job (OSP, spicing, connectors, testing, design, etc.) and applications (FTTH, OLAN, Wireless, etc.)

 

Knowledge

 

Fiber Optic Jargon

            Fiber optic terms

            Metric System

 

Fiber Optic Communications Systems

How communications systems use light to transfer information

OSP Systems: Internet, Telco, CATV, Utility, Municipal

Components and their functions in a datalink

Sources: LED, Laser (FP, DFB, VCSEL)

Detectors (photodiode, APD; Si, Ge, InGaAs)

What determines how well a datalink transmits data

 

Optical Fiber

Types of optical fiber

SI MM , GI MM, SM

Basic specifications that affect transmission

Attenuation, dispersion

Choosing the appropriate fiber for the system

 

Fiber Optic Cable

Types of cables and their applications

Tight buffer (simplex, zipcord, distribution, breakout)

Loose tube (loose tube, ribbon)

Specialty (OPGW, underwater, air blown, flat sawn-groove)

Relevant specifications for applications

Water blocking, pulling strength, armoring, etc.

Choosing the proper cable for application

 

 

Termination and Splicing

Uses

Relevant performance

Loss, reflectance, strength

 

Splicing processes

Mechanical

Fusion

Mass (ribbon) fusion

Hardware

 

Termination

Connector types

ST, SC, LC, MTP, etc.

Termination processes

Adhesive (epoxy, anaerobic, HotMelt)

Prepolished splice

Prefab systems

Hardware

 

Testing

Microscope inspection

Visual tracing and fault location

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing

Long haul SM testing for  CD and PMD

 

Fiber Optic Network Design

Evaluating communications system requirements

Designing the proper cable plant

Layout

Choosing components

Loss budgets

Documentation

 

Fiber Optic Installation

Evaluating needs based on cable plant design

Planning for the installation

Safety

Eye Safety

Tool safety

Chemical safety

Disposal of materials

Basic knowledge of Codes, standards, and Regulations         

Performing the installation

Documenting the cable plant

 

Skills

 

Fiber Optic Cable

Attaching pulling eye and rope to a cable

Pulling cable

Preparing cable for splicing or termination

 

Spicing

Preparing cable for splicing

Mechanical splicing

Fusion splicing

 

Termination

Identifying connectors

Preparing cables for termination

Installing connectors

Inspecting connectors

 

Testing

Microscope inspection

Visual tracing and fault location

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing

 

Abilities

 

Reading and math at approximately a 10th grade level

Good eyesight with color rendition

Good hand-eye coordination

Be able to use hand and power tools

Analytical skills

Follow directions

Patience

Work in adverse conditions

 

 

 


 

KSAs for CPCT - Certified Premises Cabling Technician

 

Premises cabling refers to cabling used indoors to support LANs (local area networks), WiFi, security systems, building management systems, and other communications systems that operate within buildings or campuses. This cabling consists of copper and fiber cabling and wireless connections for WiFi and DAS (indoor cellular distributed antenna systems). The KSAs are broken into 4 categories: cabling systems overview, copper, fiber and wireless.

 

Certified premises cabling technicians must have knowledge and skills in all types of cable and wireless communications sytems and their installation.

 

 

Knowledge

Cabling Systems

Copper Cabling

Fiber Optic Cabling

Wireless

Overview

What are cabling systems

Where are they used

 

Types of copper cabling systems

Where they are used

Legacy systems

Where is fiber used and why

What applications does it support

Why use wireless?

How it fits into a structured cabling system

Jargon

Cabling systems jargon and standards

Copper cabling systems jargon and standards

Fiber optic cabling systems jargon and standards

Wireless systems types, jargon and standards

Communications Systems

What types of communications systems use structured cabling

How do communications systems use copper cabling

Power over Ethernet

How do communications systems use fiber optic cabling

How do communications systems use wireless

Cabling

Generic use of cabling

Types of copper cabling used in premises cabling systems

Types of fiber optic cabling used in premises cabling systems

Types of cabling used by wireless in premises cabling systems

Termination & Splicing

NA

Where connectors and punch-downs are used

Relevant performance specifications

Hardware needed (e.g. patch panels, patchcords, etc.)

Where connectors and splices are used

Types of connectors and splices and applications

Relevant performance specifications

Hardware needed (e.g. patch panels, patchcords, etc.)

Relevant cabling to connect wireless access points

Testing

 

Test requirements for UTP cable certification or verification

Troubleshooting

Microscope inspection

Visual tracing and fault location

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing

Troubleshooting

 

Design

Evaluating communications system requirements

Designing the proper cable plant

Layout

Choosing components

Loss budgets

Documentation

 

As specific for copper cabling

As specific for fiber optic cabling

As specific for cabling for wireless and location of wireless access points

Installation

Evaluating needs based on cable plant design

Planning for the installation

Safety

Eye Safety

Tool safety

Chemical safety

Disposal of materials

Basic knowledge of Codes, standards, and Regulations  

Performing the installation (including grounding and bonding, firestopping, etc.)

 

As specific for copper cabling

As specific for fiber optic cabling

As specific for cabling for wireless and  wireless access points

Skills

 

Copper Cable

Pulling cable

Placing cable in trays, J-hooks, etc.

Preparing cable for splicing or termination

 

Punchdowns

Preparing cable for punchdowns

Color codes

Maintaining performance at punchdowns

 

Termination

Preparing cables for termination

Installing connectors

Maintaining performance at connectors

 

Testing

Certification testing

Verification

Testing

TDR testing

 

Fiber Optic Cable

Attaching pulling eye and rope to a cable

Pulling cable

Preparing cable for splicing or termination

 

Spicing

Preparing cable for splicing

Mechanical splicing

Fusion splicing

 

Termination

Identifying connectors

Preparing cables for termination

Installing connectors

Inspecting connectors

 

Testing

Microscope inspection

Visual tracing and fault location

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing

 

Wireless AP Cabling

(Fiber or copper as appropriate)

Abilities

Reading and math at approximately a 10th grade level, Good eyesight with color rendition

Good hand-eye coordination

Be able to use hand and power tools

Analytical skills

Follow directions

Patience

Work in adverse conditions

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

KSAs for CFOS/D Fiber Optic Network Design Specialist

 

A fiber optic network designer is responsible for the proper design of the fiber optic cable plant and often the communications systems that operate over it. The designer will be involved in the project from the beginning, working with the organization to establish communications needs and design a physical network capable of delivering those needs. To do so, they will work with managers of the organization, contractors/installers, component suppliers, etc. to gather all the information needed to design and cost the network. The designer may also be involved in planning the installation and following through to ensure the network is installed properly and on schedule.

 

Knowledge

 

Fiber Optic Network Design - General

Evaluating communications system requirements

Basic knowledge of Codes, standards, and regulations

Permits, easements, access to rights-of-way

Designing the proper cable plant

Choosing components

Loss budgets

Documentation

 

Planning The Project – The Processes

Communications

Cable plant options (OSP. Premises)

Paperwork (SOW, RFP, RFQ, Contract)

Choosing components, estimating costs

Documentation

Operation of the network

Troubleshooting and restoration

           

Fiber Optic Jargon

            Fiber optic terms

            Metric System

 

Fiber Optic Communications Systems

How communications systems use light to transfer information

Components and their functions in a datalink

 

Fiber Optic Components

Optical Fiber

Types of optical fiber (SM, MM)

Basic specifications that affect transmission

Choosing the appropriate fiber for the system

Fiber Optic Cable

Types of cables and their applications (OSP, premises)

Relevant specifications for applications

Choosing the proper cable for application

Termination and Splicing

Where one uses splicing or termination

Relevant performance

Splicing processes

Termination

Hardware

Testing

Testing required before and during installation, troubleshooting

Microscope inspection, cleaning

Visual tracing and fault location

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing

Fiber characterization (Long haul SM testing for CD and PMD)

Power and loss budgets

Documentation of test results

 

Fiber Optic Installation

            Types of construction for underground, aerial and premises networks

Evaluating construction based on cable plant design

Planning for the installation process

Safety: Eye Safety, Tool safety, Chemical safety. Disposal of materials

Performing the installation

Evaluating the quality of the installation, testing

Documenting the cable plant

 

Skills

People/organizational skills

Communications, written and verbal

Computer skills

Analytical skills

 

Abilities

Reading and math at approximately a 10th grade level

Analytical skills

Follow directions

Patience

 

 

 

 

KSAs for CFOS/O - Outside Plant Specialist Certification

Outside plant specialists have the full knowledge of a CFOT and are required to have the CFOT certification. In addition, the OSP specialist will have knowledge of OSP components, construction for underground or aerial cable plants and installation of various types of OSP cables. They are expected to have knowledge and skills of OSP installation techniques like fusion splicing and OTDR testing.

 

Knowledge

 

Fiber Optic Jargon

            Fiber optic terms

            Metric System

 

Fiber Optic Communications Systems

How communications systems use light to transfer information

OSP Systems: Telco including wireless antennas, CATV, Utility, Municipal networks, etc.

Components and their functions in a datalink

Sources: LED, Laser (FP, DFB, VCSEL)

Detectors (photodiode, APD; Si, Ge, InGaAs)

What determines how well a datalink transmits data

 

Optical Fiber

Types of optical fiber

SI MM , GI MM, SM

Basic specifications that affect transmission

Attenuation, dispersion

Choosing the appropriate fiber for the system

 

Fiber Optic Cable

Types of cables and their applications

Tight buffer (simplex, zipcord, distribution, breakout)

Loose tube (loose tube, ribbon)

Specialty (OPGW, ADSS, underwater, air blown, flat saw-groove cable and conduit)

Relevant specifications for applications

Water blocking, pulling strength, armoring, etc.

Choosing the proper cable for application

Conduit, innerduct, cable pullers, pulling eyes, lubricants, etc.

 

Termination and Splicing

Uses

Relevant performance

Loss, reflectance, strength

Splicing processes

Mechanical

Fusion

Mass (ribbon) fusion

Hardware, closures

Fitting splices in trays, trays in closures, sealing, pressure testing

Installing on Poles,

Installing and racking cable

 

Termination

Connector types

ST, SC, LC, MTP, etc.

Termination processes

            Spliced-on pigtails

Adhesive (epoxy, anaerobic, HotMelt)

Prepolished splice

Prefab systems

Hardware

 

Testing

Microscope inspection

Visual tracing and fault location

Fiber identification

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing, setup for long cables

Long haul SM testing for  CD and PMD

 

Fiber Optic Network Design

Evaluating communications system requirements

Aerial, direct buried, pulled in conduit, submarine and other installations

Designing the proper cable plant

Layout

Choosing components

Loss budgets

Documentation

 

Fiber Optic Network Construction

Techniques for contstuction

Outside plant (OSP), underground or aerial

Premises

 

Fiber Optic Installation

Evaluating needs based on cable plant design

Planning for the installation

Safety

Eye Safety

Tool safety

Chemical safety

Disposal of materials

Basic knowledge of Codes, standards, and Regulations

Installation tools and equipment: cable pullers, plows, bucket trucks, splicing trailers, directional boring, etc. 

Performing the installation

Documenting the cable plant

 

 

Skills

 

General Installation

            Using ladders, bucket trucks, etc.

            Climbing poles and towers for aerial installation

 

Fiber Optic Cable

Attaching pulling eye and rope to a cable by strength members

Pulling cable

Preparing cable for splicing or termination (stripping cable and fiber)

 

Spicing

Preparing cable for splicing

Mechanical splicing

Fusion splicing

Fitting splices in trays, trays in closures, sealing

 

Termination

Identifying connectors

Preparing cables for termination

Breakout kits on loose tube cable

Installing connectors

Inspecting connectors

 

Grounding

            Cables with metallic armor

            Enclosures

            Hardware on poles, etc

            Distribution buildings

 

Testing

Microscope inspection

Visual tracing and fault location

Insertion loss testing

OTDR testing and troubleshooting

PMD Testing

CD Testing

 

Abilities

 

Reading and math at approximately a 10th grade level

Good eyesight with color rendition

Good hand-eye coordination

Be able to use hand and power tools

Analytical skills

Follow directions

Patience

Work in adverse conditions

 

 

 


 

 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/S Splicing Specialist Certification


Fiber optic splicing is used for joining two fibers when cables are concatenated for longer runs or cables are split to runs in different directions. Splicing involves the processes of preparing cables, operating a fusion splicer or the tools for mechanical splicing, placing splices in a splice closure and testing the quality of the splices.

 

The CFOS/S Fiber Optic Splicing Specialist certification is a skills certification so the concentration is on mastering the hands-on processes used in splicing fiber.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

Types Of Fiber Optic Splices

Fusion splicing – single fiber and mass/ribbon splicing

Mechanical splicing - types

Where is each splice type typically used?

Requirements for a good splice – loss/reflectance/reliabiity

Equipment needed for splicing

Cable preparation tools

Stripper

Cleaning kit

Cleaver

Fusion splicer

 

Processes Of Splicing

Cable preparation

Single fiber splicing

Stripping fibers

Cleaning fibers

Cleaving fibers

Splicing – fusion and mechanical

Splice protection

Dressing fibers in splice closure

Sealing/storing/attaching closure

Duplicate for mass/ribbon splicing

 

Testing Splices

Visual fault location

OLTS testing

OTDR testing

Documenting tests

 

Skills

Cable preparation

Operating splicers

Strip/clean/cleave/splice/protect/store

Testing

 

Abilities

Standard CFOT

Patience

 

 

 


 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/C Connector Specialist Certification


Fiber optic connectors are used for terminating a fiber for the purpose joining two fibers in a manner that is demountable to allow for changing connections or connecting to fiber optic transceivers. Terminating fibers with connectors involves a number of different processes because of the different types of termination methods. All processes include preparing cables, attaching connectors which may involve adhesives, crimping or splicing fibers including operating a fusion splicer or the tools for mechanical splicing. It is very important to understand inspecting and cleaning connectors as it affects connection loss, including when being tested.

 

The CFOS/C Fiber Optic Connector Specialist certification is a skills certification so the concentration is on mastering the hands-on processes used in terminating fiber.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

Types Of Fiber Optic Connectors

Connector styles – single fiber or multiple fiber, SC/ST/LC/MPO, etc.

Requirements for a good connector – loss/reflectance/reliability

Termination types

Adhesive/polish

Crimp/polish

Prepolished/splice

Fusion splice-on connector (SOC)

Fusion splice-on pigtail

Equipment needed for attaching connectors for various termination types

Cable preparation tools

Termination kit

Cleaning kit

 

Processes Of Termination for various termination types

Adhesive/polish

Crimp/polish

Prepolished/splice

Fusion splice-on connector (SOC)

Fusion splice-on pigtail

Cable preparation for cable types, furcation tubing

Single fiber connectors

Multiple fiber connectors

 

Testing connectors

Microscope inspection

Cleaning

OLTS testing

OTDR testing

Documenting tests

 

Skills

Cable preparation

Using tools in toolkits

Processes for termination types

Testing

 

Abilities

Standard CFOT

Patience

 

 


 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/T Fiber Optic Testing Certification


Fiber optic testing is probably the most complex task in fiber optics. Testing is used to confirm the quality of components, verify the quality of an installed cable plant, test fiber optic communications links and troubleshoot problems.

 

Fiber optic testing includes inspecting fiber optic connectors with a microscope, tracing fibers and finding local problems with a visual fault locator, measuring optical power from transmitters or at receivers, measuring optical loss in a cable or cable plant and taking a snapshot of a fiber with an OTDR. Long distance OSP fibers intended for high speed links may also be tested for dispersion. Testing involves lots of tests and lots of instruments, some quite complex.

 

The CFOS/T certification requires that the technician understand the use of the instruments, performance of the tests and the uncertainty of the measurements. Since most of these tests are covered by industry standards, the tech is also expected to be familiar with the appropriate standards.

 

The CFOS/T Fiber Optic Testing Specialist certification is a skills certification, so the concentration is on mastering the hands-on processes used in testing fiber.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

Fiber optic testing

Cleanliness of connectors

Continuity and fault location

Optical power – understanding dB, dBm

Insertion loss

Fiber attenuation, splice loss, connector reflectance

Fiber dispersion for long distance, high-speed links

Troubleshooting

Standards for testing

 

Fiber optic test instruments

Inspection microscopes

Visual fault locators

Optical power meters

Optical loss test set (light source and power meter)

Optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR)

Dispersion test sets for fiber characterization

Reference cables

 

Test methods

Visual inspection and cleaning

Fiber tracing and fault location

Measuring optical power from transmitters and receivers

Measuring insertion loss of a cable plant

Testing cable plants with optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR)

Fiber characterization

Troubleshooting

 

Metrology

Calibration

Expected test results – loss budgets

Understanding fiber optic measurement uncertainty

 

Skills

Connector cleaning

Operating instruments

Making tests

Evaluating test results

 

Abilities

Standard CFOT

Patience

 

 

 


 

 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/FC Fiber Characterization Certification

Fiber optic testing is probably the most complex task in fiber optics and fiber characterization extends testing by adding tests for dispersion needed for long-distance high-speed networks. Fiber characterization is used to confirm the ability of longer fiber optic cable plants to transmit signals tens or hundreds of kilometers at speeds above 10 gigabits per second or even 100 gigabits per second.

 

Fiber characterization includes the standard fiber optic tests: inspecting fiber optic connectors with a microscope, tracing fibers and finding local problems with a visual fault locator, measuring optical power from transmitters or at receivers, measuring optical loss in a cable or cable plant and taking a snapshot of a fiber with an OTDR. In addition, long distance OSP fibers intended for high speed links must also be tested for chromatic and polarization-mode dispersion. This testing involves lots of tests and lots of instruments, some quite complex.

 

The CFOS/FC certification requires that the technician understand the use of the instruments, performance of the tests and the uncertainty of the measurements. Since most of these tests are covered by industry standards, the tech is also expected to be familiar with the appropriate standards.

 

The CFOS/FC Fiber Characterization Specialist certification is a skills certification, so the concentration is on mastering the hands-on processes used in testing fiber.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

Fiber Characterization

Necessity for fiber characterization – new and old fibers

Fiber specifications for high speed networks and wavelength division multiplexing

 

Fiber optic testing

Cleanliness of connectors

Continuity and fault location

Optical power – understanding dB, dBm

Insertion loss

Fiber attenuation, splice loss, connector reflectance by OLTS and OTDR

Spectral attenuation (SA)

Fiber dispersion for long distance, high-speed links, chromatic dispersion (CD) and polarization mode dispersion (PMD)

Troubleshooting

Standards for testing

 

 

CD, PMD and SA

Understanding the causes of CD. PMD and SA

Specifications and maximum tolerated dispersion by various networks

Test methods

Compensating for CD

Variability of PMD testing

 

 

Skills

Connector cleaning

Operating instruments

Making tests

Evaluating test results

 

Abilities

Standard CFOT

Patience

 

 



 

 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/H FTTx Certification

 

FOA has worked with many FTTx service providers and contractors to train and certify installation techs. While the FOA has a FTTx curriculum and certification based on the optical network, there is another category of FTTx tech who is responsible for customer premises installation. To cover that job function, we have added a second set of KSAs that covers the FTTx Customer Premises (CP) Tech  to help trainers understand the needs of CP techs.

 

Part 1. KSAs For FOA FTTx Tech Certification

 

FOA CFOS/H certification KSAs applies to techs interested in understanding the entire topic of FTTx, including FTTH architectures, components, protocols, etc.) It is assumed these techs are going to be designers, installers or managers of these projects. They may be involved in installing distribution and drop cables, OLTs and ONTs, FDHs, etc. so they need a thorough knowledge of PONs and associated hardware. Most of these workers, but especially the installers, should have a CFOT.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

What is FTTx? Why is it an issue now?

The types of FTTx (FTTC (curb, also sometimes FTTN for node), FTTH (home), FTTP (premises), etc.

Advantages/disadvantages of each type of FTTx

Different types of FTTH architectures (active/P2P, PON)

Advantages/disadvantages of different types of FTTH architectures

Differences between PONs and traditional fiber networks

Standardized PON network types (BPON, GPON, EPON, RFOG)

Future developments in PONs

PON network cabling architectures

Cabling for single family and MDU (multi-dwelling) installations

PON cabling options (traditional fiber, prefab components, special components developed for PONs)

Testing PONs (OLTS and OTDR)

 

Skills

Those taking this course may be working in several areas - design, installation, service, even management. The skills for installation are similar to the CFOT but those with other job functions may need specialized skills appropriate to their total job responsibility.

 

Installation

 

CFOT skills (cables, splicing, termination - generally prepolished/splice-on connectors, testing - PONs)

For prefab systems, special handling, installation, cleaning, testing

 

Abilities - Installation

 

CFOT abilities:

Good eyesight with color rendition

Good hand-eye coordination

Manual dexterity

Use of hand and power tools

Analytical skills

Follow directions

Patience

Work in adverse conditions

 

Part 2. KSAs For FTTH Customer Premises Techs

 

There is another class of FTTH installers/techs that are mainly involved with the drops to the house, connecting the ONT to the PON network and then connecting customer devices (phone, Internet routers and TVs.) These techs require a different set of KSAs that may exclude the technical detail onn fiber included in the traditional FTTx tech but include installing the ONT, checking service connections, then connecting and sometimes providing service and training to the customer. Due to the limited fiber optics skills needed but the added installation skills used for UTP and coax copper cables and WiFi, a FOA CPCT certification would be good preparation.

 

Knowledge

 

Basic knowledge of fiber optics (fiber, cable, links, installation, test)

Basics of GPON systems (architecture, ONTs, OLTs, splitters)

How ONTs work (connecting to the PON network, outputs for voice/data/video)

Building and electrical codes relating to installation of premises cabling.

Cabling for single family and MDU (multi-dwelling) installations (types of cable/connectors (fiber/UTP/coax), methods for installing cable indoors (depending on cable types, components chosen by the provider, may include penetrating walls, pulling cables in walls, sticking cables to molding, etc.)

Termination processes used by provider (if not using prefab assemblies)

Providing power to ONT including setting up backup power if used.

Connecting and testing operation of ONTs.

Connecting POTS phones with UTP cable (may include installing and terminating cable)

Connecting computers to Internet (wired or wireless) and doing setup for PCs, MACs, Chromebooks, etc. (may involve installing Cat 5e/6 UTP cable to computer, setting up wireless access points, installing MOCA system on coax, routers and switches)

Connecting TVs to ONT and setting up control boxes (may involve running coax cable including termination, connecting control boxes and TVs, programming TVs and remotes)

How to deal with customers (how to dress, act, be courteous, answer questions, etc.)

How to negotiate with customer on installation methods so they are not upset with the modifications to their residence made in the installation.

How to clean up after installation to ensure the customer will be happy.

 

Skills

 

Cable and equipment installation (fiber installation using components chosen for the project (may include prefab cable assemblies, special drop cables, quick connectors, etc.), ONTs, UTP and Coax cable, power connections)

Computer, phone and TV setup and troubleshooting

Use of appropriate tools including woodworking tools for installing in customer premises

Installation, programming and troubleshooting of phones, computers and networks (wired and wireless) and TVs

Dealing with people, explaining what you are doing, answering questions and showing them how to use the new equipment

 

Abilities

 

CFOT Abilities

Patience in dealing with people

Enjoyment of dealing with people

 

 

 


 


KSAs For FOA CFOS/DC Cabling For Data Centers Certification

 

The ability to perform any job requires certain abilities, knowledge and skills, commonly referred to as “KSAs.” For the fiber optic technician, these KSAs have been determined by more than a dozen FOA adviosrs from over 30 years of experience in actual installations. The FOA has developed this list as the qualifications for FOA certification and to provide training organizations and instructors a list of topics that should be included in a basic training curriculum, such as for FOA certification.

 

For those working in the field who wish to become FOA certified, it is a list of relevant topics for study, whether using the FOA textbooks or the FOA Online Reference Guide or Study Guides.

 

KSAs for CFOS/DC Cabling For Data Centers

Data centers are one of the fastest growing applications for cabling, especially fiber optics. The growth of the Internet has demanded that data centers be built near users around the world, have massive storage for data and ultra-high speed connections. These high speed connections over relatively long distances require fiber optics for most links.

 

This certification will cover the design of typical data centers and explain how they use fiber for connections into their networks.

 

Note: This is an FOA applications certification. The certification can be taken by management or designers who will not be doing installation without a CFOT. Installers of fiber optic cabling for wireless systems should always have a CFOT.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

What is a data center?

Types of equipment are used to create a data center

What types of interconnection architecture are used

Top-of-rack and end-of-row designs

 

Media options for connections – copper, fiber (singlemode or multimode), active optical cables

Fiber options – singlemode with wavelength-division multiplexing, multimode with parallel optics or wavelength-division multiplexing

Prefab cabling options

Cable plant installation options

 

Fiber Optics

Prefab multimode parallel optics systems – installation and testing issues

Performance issues

Upgrade issues

 

Skills

Those taking this course may be working in several areas - design, installation, service, even management. The skills for installation are similar to the CFOT but those with other job functions may need specialized skills appropriate to their total job responsibility, e,g, network design or project management.

 

Skills - Installation

CFOT skills (cables, splicing, termination - generally prepolished/splice-on connectors, testing - PONs)

For prefab systems, special handling, installation, cleaning, testing

 

Abilities - Installation

CFOT abilities

 

 

 


 

 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/L Optical LANs Certification

 

The ability to perform any job requires certain abilities, knowledge and skills, commonly referred to as “KSAs.” For the fiber optic technician, these KSAs have been determined by more than a dozen FOA adviosrs from over 30 years of experience in actual installations. The FOA has developed this list as the qualifications for FOA certification and to provide training organizations and instructors a list of topics that should be included in a basic training curriculum, such as for FOA certification.

 

For those working in the field who wish to become FOA certified, it is a list of relevant topics for study, whether using the FOA textbooks or the FOA Online Reference Guide or Study Guides.

 

KSAs for CFOS/L Optical LANs

Local area networks (LANs) use fiber optics for speed in enterprise networks, distance and sometimes electrical isolation in industrial and utility environments. Fiber has been an option in LAN cabling standards from the beginning, first as a substitute for copper, then with a different and more cost-effective architecture. Following the introduction of passive optical networks (PONs) for fiber to the home, LANs have also adopted this architecture to take advantage of its lower initial and operating costs.

 

This certification will cover the design of typical optical LANs and explain how are built, tested and operated.

 

Note: This is an FOA applications certification. The certification can be taken by management or designers who will not be doing installation without a CFOT. Installers of fiber optic cabling for wireless systems should always have a CFOT.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

LANs

History

Architectures – bus, ring, star

Development of cabling standards

Evolution: 12 generations of copper, 4 generations of fiber

 

LAN Cabling

Structured cabling standards based on copper

Fiber as a substitute for copper

Centralized fiber

Passive optical LANs

 

Passive optical LANs

Architecture

Components

Network design

Installation

Testing

 

Fiber Optics

Installation

Prefab fiber optic systems – installation and testing issues

Performance

Upgrades

 

Skills

Those taking this course may be working in several areas - design, installation, service, even management. The skills for installation are similar to the CFOT but those with other job functions may need specialized skills appropriate to their total job responsibility, e,g, network design or project management.

 

Skills - Installation

CFOT skills (cables, splicing, termination - generally prepolished/splice-on connectors, testing - PONs)

For prefab systems, special handling, installation, cleaning, testing

 

Abilities - Installation

CFOT abilities

 

 

 


 


KSAs For FOA CFOS/W Fiber For Wireless Certification

 

The ability to perform any job requires certain abilities, knowledge and skills, commonly referred to as “KSAs.” For the fiber optic technician, these KSAs have been determined by more than a dozen FOA adviosrs from over 30 years of experience in actual installations. The FOA has developed this list as the qualifications for FOA certification and to provide training organizations and instructors a list of topics that should be included in a basic training curriculum, such as for FOA certification.

 

For those working in the field who wish to become FOA certified, it is a list of relevant topics for study, whether using the FOA textbooks or the FOA Online Reference Guide or Study Guides.

 

KSAs for CFOS/W  - Fiber For Wireless

Cellular wireless towers have become filled with antennas to provide additional bandwidth to satisfy user demands. Many towers are replacing coaxial cables to the antennas with smaller, lighter fiber optic cables. Cell towers (sites) are connected to the telco network on fiber optics also. Fiber is also being used to connect small cells in urban areas and DAS (distributed antenna systems) inside large buildings.

 

WiFi also depends on fiber op[tics as the backbones of LANs that connect access points and fiber to sites for line-of-sight WiFi for longer distance connections in urban or rural areas.

 

This certification will cover all types of wireless systems, explain how they use fiber for connections into their networks.

 

Note: This is an FOA applications certification. The certification can be taken by management or designers who will not be doing installation without a CFOT. Installers of fiber optic cabling for wireless systems should always have a CFOT.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

Wireless Systems

Cellular – towers, small cells, DAS

Public safety - FirstNet

WiFi – LAN, metro, rural

 

Cellular site technology

Tower antenna connection types: coax or fiber/coax with passive antennas and all fiber systems with active antennas,

Fiber to small cells

Fiber used in DAS

Backhaul, fronthaul, C-RAN

WiFi Technology

WiFi in LANs

WiFi for line-of-sight links

Super WiFi and WiMax

 

WiFi and DAS in premises cabling networks

 

Free space optics

 

 

Skills

Those taking this course may be working in several areas - design, installation, service, even management. The skills for installation are similar to the CFOT but those with other job functions may need specialized skills appropriate to their total job responsibility, e,g, network design or project management.

 

Skills - Installation

CFOT skills (cables, splicing, termination - generally prepolished/splice-on connectors, testing - PONs)

For prefab systems, special handling, installation, cleaning, testing

 

Abilities - Installation

CFOT abilities

 

 

 


 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/A Fiber To the Antenna Certification

 

The ability to perform any job requires certain abilities, knowledge and skills, commonly referred to as “KSAs.” For the fiber optic technician, these KSAs have been determined by more than a dozen FOA adviosrs from over 30 years of experience in actual installations. The FOA has developed this list as the qualifications for FOA certification and to provide training organizations and instructors a list of topics that should be included in a basic training curriculum, such as for FOA certification.

 

For those working in the field who wish to become FOA certified, it is a list of relevant topics for study, whether using the FOA textbooks or the FOA Online Reference Guide or Study Guides.

 

KSAs for CFOS/A  - FTTA - Fiber to the Antenna Techs

Cellular wireless towers have become filled with antennas to provide additional bandwidth to satisfy user demands. Many towers are replacing coaxial cables to the antennas with smaller, lighter fiber optic cables. These cables are generally installed pre-terminated and require only cleaning and testing. Techs installing them must understand the technology, how to handle fiber optic cables and should be aware of the safety issues involved.

 

Note: This is an FOA applications certification. The certification can be taken by management or designers who will not be doing installation without a CFOT. Installers of FTTA systems should always have a CFOT.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

What is FTTA?

Why is it an issue now?

 

Cellular site technology

Wireless antenna connection types: coax or fiber/coax with passive antennas and all fiber systems with active antennas, small cells

Differences between tower and building-mounted antenna installations

Differences between FTTA and DAS (distributed antenna systems)

 

Fiber optic technology used in FTTA

Options in fiber optic component choices (fiber types, connectors, composite fiber/copper cables, onsite termination vs. prefab assemblies)

 

Installation of prefab cables on the tower, specialized hardware

 

Testing FTTA cables

Visual inspection and cleaning,

OLTS and OTDR tests on short cables, loopback testing)

 

FTTA safety issues, OSHA regulations

 

Skills

Those taking this course may be working in several areas - design, installation, service, even management. The skills for installation are similar to the CFOT but those with other job functions may need specialized skills appropriate to their total job responsibility, e,g, network design or project management.

 

Skills - Installation

CFOT skills (cables, splicing, termination - generally prepolished/splice-on connectors, testing - PONs)

For prefab systems, special handling, installation, cleaning, testing

 

Abilities - Installation

CFOT abilities

 

 


 

 

KSAs For FOA CFOS/DAS Fiber For Wireless Certification

 

Cellular wireless signals often do not penetrate well into buildings, providing poor connections. This is a major problem since about 80% of all cellular calls originate from inside buildings. Large buildings like convention centers, office buildings or sports facilities often install low-power cell sites indoors to provide this coverage. These systems are called DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems). DAS can be active or passive systems and require premises cabling systems to support the many antennas used in most systems.

 

This certification will cover all types of DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems) and explain how they use fiber and copper cabling for connections into their networks.

 

Note: This is an FOA applications certification. The certification can be taken by management or designers who will not be doing installation without a CFOT. Installers of fiber optic cabling for wireless systems should always have a CFOT.

 

Knowledge

This assumes the tech has the basic knowledge of a CFOT or equivalent.

 

Wireless Systems

Cellular – towers, small cells, DAS

Public safety - FirstNet

DAS – active and passive systems

 

Cabling for DAS

Coax for passive systems

Fiber optics for active DAS

 

WiFi and DAS in premises cabling networks

 

 

 

Skills

Those taking this course may be working in several areas - design, installation, service, even management. The skills for installation are similar to the CFOT but those with other job functions may need specialized skills appropriate to their total job responsibility, e,g, network design or project management.

 

Skills - Installation

CFOT skills (cables, splicing, termination - generally prepolished/splice-on connectors, testing - PONs)

For prefab systems, special handling, installation, cleaning, testing

 

Abilities - Installation

CFOT abilities

 





To get started on FOA certification: 


About FOA Certifications


Use the Fiber U Self-Study programs to prepare for the FOA Exams 

Apply Directly  Through The FOA "Work-to-Cert" program
Find an FOA-Approved school





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