FOA Board Member Visits High
School Vocational School
One of the goals of The Fiber
Optic Association is to educate people about fiber optics. Tom
Collins from the FOA board of directors recently visited the
Campbell County Area Vocational Center located in Northern Kentucky
to make a presentation to the students.
The presentation included the FOA PowerPoint ( www.thefoa.org/ppt/
)as well as discussing job opportunities in the fiber optic industry.
The students were from the Electrical, Information Technology,
and Construction programs and they saw the instant connection
to their field
of study. Two instructors from
Campbell County Vocational Center are currently attending a Certified
Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) program held at Gateway Community
and Technical College. They will be attending the Train-The-Trainer
program this summer held at
Gateway and will be qualified
as Certified Fiber Optic Educator (CFOE).
For our industry to grow we need to encourage our brightest students
to enter the fiber optic industry and the FOA visit was the first
step in reaching our goals .
Fiber Optics Must Be "Hot"
Or maybe it's just hyping another
stock. A 16 page brochure (right) was included in a recent Los
Angeles Times newspaper touting the stock of a fiber optic company.
The brochure was a paid promotion (inside the rear cover, they
offered to do the same for other companies). The company has
no revenues, and appears to have simply acquired some technology
for FTTH/FTTN from Lucent. Yahoo Business says " After
teetering on the verge of a sale, Amedia Networks (formerly TTR
Technologies) is still searching for business. The company had
an agreement with Macrovision to develop and sell copy protection
products for CDs, DVDs, and other optical media, but then sold
its assets to Macrovision. Prior to ceasing operations as a part
of the purchase agreement, TTR Technologies developed technologies
that prevented illegal reproduction of software, music, games,
and other media for software and entertainment companies. In
early 2004, the company entered into an agreement with Lucent
to develop optical fiber routing equipment that delivers data
over the Internet and changed its corporate name to Amedia Networks."
I guess if they're going to
hype companies like this, brokers must be hot on fiber optics
again, or maybe they just figure the public has a short memory...
Reminds me of a deal I was once
approached about. Back in the late 1990s a "investment banker"
from NYC kept driving his Porsche up to Boston to woo me to join
him in a "can't lose" deal. He had acquired the assets
of a bankrupt technology company and he wanted to merge into
this worthless shell a number of viable but small fiber optic
companies. All were too small to take advantage of going public
themselves, but he figured the total entity could be positioned
as a player in the fiber optic market and stage a public offering.
These were the days that any comapny with fiber optics, web-based
business or communications was going public and being overvalued
by orders of magnitudes. We would merge our company into the
shell and go public. But the deal was good for him and bad for
anyone stupid enough to go along with him. All the business owners
got for their investment was stock in the shell. After the IPO,
he could sell out, but the others were locked in for years. In
the finance game, this is known as a rollup and they have a history
of screwing naive small business owners.
All in all, I didn't know whether
he was stupid enough to think I'd buy into this scheme or if
he thought I was stupid enough to go along with it. But it sure
was fun stringing him along and seeing how far he'd go! He never
figured that out...
New CFOT Exam Will Include
NECA/FOA-301 Installation Standard
The new FOA CFOT exam will include
questions from NECA 301-2004, Installing
And Testing Fiber Optic Cables. Schools should be including
information from the standard in their classes already. A copy
of the standard will be given to all CFOTs when they renew their
CFOTs this year.
Does Glass Flow?
Is it really a liquid? I don't
know how many times I've heard this popular myth, but it seems
to come up every time I visit an old building with glass that
has a wavy texture. When I heard this myth again recently, I
did some more searching on the web and came up with some links
that provide technical answers .
Much of the old window glass
was made by glass blowers who blew large globes or cylinders
that were flattened and cut for use as windows, hence the rounded
panes with the dimples and the wavy surface. The next process
developed flattened glass between rollers, still not giving good
optical surfaces. The modern process, called the Pilkington Process
for it's inventor, produces flat plate glass by "floating"
molten glass on molten metal, then letting the glass cool enough
to solidify and be removed as a sheet. Here's
more information on glass.
FOA Agains Sponsors VDV Conference
The FOA is again sponsoring
the NECA VDV Conference, but it's been renamed The IBS Conference,
where IBS stands for Integrated Business Systems. IBS is not
to be confused with ITS, or information transport systems, the
new TLA (three letter acronym) BICSI is using. Obviously the
cabling industry is having an identity crisis.
But the NECA show will include
technical sessions and exhibits on fiber optics and low voltage
cabling, and the FOA will be there. This year, it's in New Orleans,
September 17-20. See NECAshow.org
Edition of Fiber Optic Technicians Manual To Be Published August,
We've finished the third edition
of the Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, and sent it off to the
publisher. It's due out in August, 2005. 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. THe next edition will also be
accompanied by a Lab Manual for instructors to use in teaching
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 cable plants.
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
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.
What splice is less expensive
if you are making a large number of splices?
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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