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FOA 1 Page Standards: Guidelines For Standards
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This page has been created as guidelines for FOA members who contribute to the FOA standards.


FOA's 1 Page Standards are concise standards created by FOA with the participation of experts in the field for the most common issues affecting fiber optic network owners, contractors, designers and installers. Each standard summarizes what the reader needs to know in just 1 page. Each of the FOA's Standards will reference other industry standards that are similar and for which FOA standards may be substituted. These FOA standards can be used for reference in project paperwork when the user and contractor need to be certain they know what is being specified for the project.

What Is A Standard?

A standard is a “generally accepted practice” (GAP) in the industry, backed by valid technical reasons for what is specified. It is intended to be used as a guideline, not a precise policy to follow, requiring interpretation of its meaning for each specific application. This means that use of the standard requires that the users have general knowledge of the technology and specific knowledge of the situation to which the standard is being applied. Each standard requires background information and the FOA will provide links to the appropriate materials. More on standards.

FOA policy is that all standards have a “1 page standard” summarizing the standard for ease of use, but each is backed by technical data and explanations of the options on how the standard can be applied. The extensive FOA Online Reference Guide and FOA textbooks provide that background information, plus includes links to other reference materials.

Like all standards, FOA Standards will always be "under development" for updates for new technology and changes, but FOA standards will continue to be backwards compatible to legacy technologies.

We are developing consistent formats for standards to make reading and understanding them easier. For example, here are guidelines for standards covering testing.

Writing Standards For Fiber Optic Testing

Standards for testing fiber optic components, cable plants and communications systems should reflect the way testing is done and how the results are interpreted. Basically the process can be divided into separate steps.

1.    What needs to be tested?
2.    What equipment is needed to perform the tests?
3.    What are the procedures for making the test?
4.    What are the options required to implement the tests under various conditions?
5.    What are the sources of error in the measurements?
6.    What documentation is required for the tests?

The order of these steps is important, since it is the sequence of how one solves the problem of determining performance values for the component, subsystem or system under test and establishes the validity and precision of the measurement. Once one describes the test methodology itself, it is appropriate to describe the contributions to the uncertainty of the measurement and ways to reduce that uncertainty.All standards should include information on what documentation is needed to validate the record of the tests.

Writing Standards For Fiber Optic Components, Subsystems and Systems

For standards that refer to components subsystems and systems, the organization will be similar to these categories.
1.   Definition
2.   Components
3.   Performance
4.   Testing
5.   Documentation

Using FOA Standards

When referring to FOA Standards in project paperwork, such as when including in a Statement of Work, RFQ, RFP or contract, it should read something like this: "Testing the installed fiber optic cable plant shall be done according to FOA Standard FOA-1: Testing Installed Fiber Optic Cable Plants."

Like all standards, FOA's Standards  are only guidelines for design, installation and testing of fiber optic networks. The owner, contractor, designer or installer are always responsible for the work involved. FOA assumes no responsibility or liability for the use of these standards nor for any projects using them.

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