Looking For a
FOA-Certified Fiber Optic Installer? Use the FOA
Installer Database Free! CFOT's register online.
Augmented Category 6 Cabling Spec Published (Whew!) On
March 28, 2008, after 5 years of hard work, the TIA TR-42 committee
published TIA-568-B.2-10, the supplemental specification for Cat 6A
cabling systems. The document is a whopping 136 pages long, with 32
diagrams of test configurations, 57 tables of test specs, 2 graphs and
35 drawings of special test fixtures you need to make proper
measurements. It also introduces some new acronyms like AACRF, ELTCTL
and PSAACRF. It also says you need a new tester, defined as a Level
IIIe tester, which seems to be priced around $6500-8000 plus several
test adapters at around $400 each. We all knew the copper folks
could do it, but few of us expected it to take so long or require such
a monumental standard specification. Perhaps they’ve done fiber a great
favor, since you can simply specify OM3 fiber for your system and test
its loss with testers that cost little more than the test adapters you
need for Cat 6A! Caveat Emptor* We
recently got an email from a sales representative of a major
distributor promoting a newly-released fiber optic product. The product
was a $295 Visual Fault Locator (VFL) that, according to the email,
“Measures multimode fiber length and optical loss” and “Measures
optical power and loss at 850 nm and 1300 nm using LED dual-wavelength
sources.” Wow, that’s a lot for a $295 VFL that usually only has a
visible red laser source and no measurement functions! But, no,
the sales person sending the email was mistaken, apologizing when I
questioned their message. Probably read the promo materials for the
wrong product! But as fiber moves more into the mainstream, sales
and marketing materials may be getting less trustworthy, as people
ignorant of the technology write the promotional materials. We’ve seen
similar misinformation in promotions for OTDRs recently. *Buyer beware! JH FTTH Goes "To Town," Manhattan In This Case Verizon's
FiOS service has been mainly focused on new subdivision and suburban
upgrades, but now Verizon is headed to Manhattan. They have already
started connection apartments in Styvesant Town and Peter Cooper
Village, the largest apartment complex in Manhattan with over 11,000
units in 110 buildings. Verizon is not bringing to every apartment, but
will bring fiber into the building basement and use existing telephone
wiring and coax for TV. More. Structured Cabling Market Now More Fiber Than Copper Frank Murawski of FTM Consulting released new data on fiber in structured cabling in its latest market research study. On
a global basis, the study‚s findings indicate that growth in fiber
cabling will surpass growth in copper cabling during the next five
years. In 2008, fiber cabling accounted for 52.7% of the total global
SCS market. By 2013, it is expected that fiber cabling will account for
60.1% of the total global market. (Wonder if that has something to do with the complexity of Cat 6A and the simplicity of fiber? ed) Additional information on this study can be found at www.ftmconsultinginc.com IBM Continues Developing Technology For Fiber Optics Inside Computers Researchers
at IBM recently announced a nanoscale silicon switch that can direct
trillions of bits of data per second within an optical network. The
switch could make it possible to incorporate the speed and bandwidth of
a telecommunications network into a computer. More. SCTE To Develop RF Over Fiber Optics Standards The
Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) recently launched
development of a suite of technical industry standards to support wider
use of optical fiber in the cable plant. Focused on a technology
called RF over Glass, the standards will enable cable systems to expand
their use of optical fiber while continuing to deliver current cable
services and technologies, including DOCSIS. More.
FOA Creates New Certification For “Fiber Optic Network Design” Many FOA-approved schools intend to offer Design courses. Read more.
Cybercrime - Not Just For Hackers Anymore? Cybercrime sometimes is just industrial espionage, it seems. A company exec hacked a sales rep's computers, according to this news story.
Wanted: Users with older cable plants interested in testing them for bandwidth. Contact the FOA (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
IGI Announces 2008 Update of the "POF Sourcebook" A Unique Reference on the Plastic Optical Fiber Industry POF
Sourcebook" is more than just a compilation of companies and their POF
products. The POF Sourcebook" is a true reference book for those
interested in opportunities and competitive information on the POF
market. It contains a range of materials on the industry, companies,
contacts, research and development, products, and a whole lot more!
Here are a few of types of information contained in the Sourcebook:
Companies with POF products Companies that have exited the field and reasons why New startups entering into the field POF research at universities and organizations around the world Key contacts in the POF field POF publications Major tradeshows in the field History of developments in the POF field
are just some of the types of information in the "POF Sourcebook". It
should be of value to those in the industry to find partners and joint
ventures, investors looking for new markets, companies looking to get
into the POF business, consultants, Venture Capitalists,
Government and Organizations Promoting Optical Clusters, and others
just wanting to keep an eye on the industry.
We continue expanding the Tech Topics section and have added
some videos. These
videos, in a format familiar to the "You Tube" users
among you, cover cable prep, termination with epoxy/polish connectors,
mechanical splicing and insertion loss testing.
You need Quicktime to view these
videos which you can download free here from the Apple
If you know of other videos
(especially manufacturer training videos) that we might be able
to get permission to include here, let us know.
A Valid Question On The OM3
An instructors at one of the
FOA-Approved schools had an interesting question on the OM3 standard.
He wanted to know if connectors and panel-mounted mating adapters
should be color coded aqua too. Well, certainly they should,
but connector manufacturers are reluctant to produce yet another
For ages, beige connectors were
multimode, blue singlemode and green singlemode APC. In today's
cable plants, beige is already used for both 50 and 62.5 fiber.
Obviously any connector on an aqua cable is going to be OM3.
In the past, we've had all metal connectors (e.g. ST, FC) that
could not be colored and color-coded individual fibers in a distribution
cable, so strain relief boots were made in colors for identification.
For ST connectors, in particular,
several manufacturers made colored stickers to put around the
mating adapters on patch panels, a good solution to identify
the fibers terminated at that position.
Fiber To The Home Connections Jump To Nearly Three Million, Nearly Double Year Last Year
Market Research (www.rvallc.com), says that as of Spring, 2008, there
are now 2.91 million homes connected via end-to-end fiber, compared to
1.48 million connections as of April 2007, for an annual growth rate of
97 percent - indicating that the number of FTTH connections continues
to almost double annually.
The study also shows fiber to
the home networks now passing 11.8 million North American homes, up
from 8 million a year ago, and that the overall "take rate" - the
percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe - went
up for the fourth straight six-month period. In addition, the number of
households receiving video services over their FTTH connections
continues to increase sharply, with more than 1.6 million homes using
The study showed that Verizon, having
committed more than $20 billion to deploying its FiOS FTTH service,
continues to set the pace in the number of connections, with more than
70 percent of the North American total. However, the study also
showed growth in the number of subscribers reported by other FTTH
service providers, including small and medium sized telephone
companies, municipal governments, developers of planned residential
communities and cable television companies.
What's AT&T up to?
The FOA was contacted by a reporter
in Ohio regarding AT&T's local plans for FTTH and U-Verse
Internet TV service. Read
the story here.
Verizon is now deploying GPON
in its network in new developments in California, Maryland, Massachusetts,
New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and
Texas. GPON offers more bandwidth than the BPON currently used,
allowing more features for FiOS TV for example. See this Lightwave
article for more info. Where is Verizon offfering FiOS service?
See this map.
Want To Learn More About
The FOA has created a special
section of our website with a FTTx
links page with lots of links to news, market reports, technical
articles and vendor technical and product information. Here
is a great place to start learning more about FTTx.
Most technical information on
fiber optics seems to be aimed at installers, but at the FOA
we get lots of phone calls from end users. Often they are confused
and want advice: Should they use fiber or copper? What components
should they choose (and why?) What does a fiber optic system
design require? Can they install fiber themselves or should they
hire a contractor? How do they find a contractor? What should
the contract with the contractor include? What are the requirements
for testing and documenting a network? And sometimes, we get
a fiber optic network user who asks "My system is down?
What can I do?"
Well the FOA has started addressing
the needs of the end user. A new section of the FOA website will
be devoted to the end user, trying to cover all these questions
and more - as the users call us to ask.
Don't assume the information
is just for users, not installers, contractors and consultants.
It's information you need to be familiar with also, and we'd
suggest you tell all your customers about it, as it will help
explain fiber optics in terms they will understand and help you
and them communicate about fiber optic projects.
We get lots of calls here at
the FOA looking for advice. Many are from people unfamiliar with
fiber optics who are planning an installation, having an installation
done or testing and troubleshooting problems. To answer these
questions, we have created a standard on installation, NECA/FOA-301
and three Tech
Bulletins for users and installers. These, plus all the information
in our "Tech
Topics" section, will answer many of your questions.
It's where most of our callers are sent for detailed explanations
they can print and distribute to interested parties.
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
There is a website called "Common Ground Alliance"
that focuses directly on this issue. Here is how they describe
Damage Prevention is a
The Common Ground Alliance
(CGA) is a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring public
safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services
by promoting effective damage prevention practices.
In recent years, the association has established itself as the
leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to all underground
facilities in North America through shared responsibility
among all stakeholders.
Of special interest is their
Practices" Manual, available for downloading. If you
do OSP installs, please get yourself a copy and read it.
Once a home has a broadband connection,
which we hope is fiber to the home, but could be DSL or Cable
Modem, the usage of all that bandwidth depends on distribution
within the home. The in-home connections can be UTP or Coax copper,
wireless or fiber. But architects and home builders must learn
how to build homes to take advantage of broadband connections.
The FOA, in conjunction with the Structured Cabling Association,
have started working with home builders to bring them up to speed.
You can see the first tutorial we have jointly developed at the SCA website.
FOA & SCA Helps California
Homebuilders Understand High Tech Homes
The FOA and Structured
Cabling Association are combined forces to discuss how broadband
connections like FTTH requires new thinking from homebuilders
on how homes should be designed and built to provide high speed
connections inside the home so the family can take advantage
of all that broadband offers. The presentation was part of the
Building Industry Show educational program sponsored by the Building
Industry Association of Southern California.
Even with home sales in a slump,
a good group came to hear Jim Hayes discuss why high tech cabling
offers a way for builders to makes homes more attractive to buyers
and more profitable. It also offers great job opportunities for
cabling installers and contractors.
There are tons of technical
application notes and videos on the web, and occasionally we
recommend some you should download. The JDSU fiber testing guide
is really worthwhile, as are the ADC FTTx book and Westover video
on fiber inspection and cleaning, linked below.
JDSU Testing Book
JDSU offers a free download of their
Testing Guide from the Lightwave website. This is one great book
which explains some basic fiber technology, but the real value
is the last half which deals with OTDR testing. Not only does
it give the usual info, but it covers important topics like measurement
uncertainties and anomolies like ghosts and gainers.
I was in the testing business
for 20+ years at Fotec and think this book is one of the best
fiber optic testing texts available. It's complete but comprehenisble!
I used to believe that premises techs did not need OTDR training,
but now OTDR manufacturers are pushing their use in premises
networks. Unfortunately, the limitations of OTDRs in premises
applications can cause extreme problems for those who are not
aware of their limitations. So knowing hows OTDRs work is essential
information to every tech.
Now In Spanish: FOA Textbook
& Text For FOA Advanced Certifications
The FOA's textbook, The
Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, is used by our approved
schools around the world to teach fiber optics. Book Details:
Manual Del Technico De Fibra Optica, Published by Thomson
Delmar Learning, ISBN 1-4180-6121-2
If you are getting started
in fiber optics and Spanish is your native language, you can
download an introduction to fiber optics in Spanish here.
Are there really 5 different
ways to test optical fiber cabling after installation? Why so
many? How do the measurements - and more importantly the measurement
results - differ? What are the advanteages and disadvantages
of each method?
How do you design and manufacture
fiber optic systems? Choose and install one to serve your communications
needs? Troubleshoot problems? The FOA Fiber Optic Technical Bulletins
will provide step-by-step guidelines to help you. All are
PDF files you can download, print and use.
client is a leader in Fiber Optics product manufacturing. They
are well established, profitable and experiencing significant
growth. They are dedicated to providing total manufacturing
solutions for fiber optic cabling systems to the telecommunications
industry that requires Telcordia standards. They are in need of
an experienced and successful Sales Representative from the Fiber
Optics market who is looking for THE right career move. The
company is currently enjoying significant growth. If you are
looking for a great opportunity and have the skills to help drive
growth and success, you should explore this opportunity.
For more information, please contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, send a resume / cover letter to: email@example.com.
for two individuals or two staff from a private firm for inside premise
(ISP) install of CAT6 and Fiber Optic cables. The primary site is a
large data center with adjacent offices, all currently under
construction. Desire individuals with BICSI or FOA
certifications, industry certifications or equivalent experience.
Experience with testing CAT5/6 and Fiber desired. This will be a
six-month assignment in a safe and friendly foreign country with living
conditions equal to the US. All travel and relocation expenses paid.
Housing in two-bedroom furnished townhouse close to work site. Cell
phone, Internet, cable TV, utilities, medical insurance and vehicle
provided. Salary in US dollars with a bonus at completion of project.
Employer is a large multinational design and build firm. Desire US
installation and NEC code experience.
Please send contact information along with resume or qualifications to:
Kevin Love, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com Two Regional Sales Manager positions, East and West Coast Job #: pjk04012008B Industry: Structured Cable Base salary begins: $50,000 (negotiable depending upon experience)
organization in the wire and cable industry will be launching a new
branch in the summer and they are currently seeking a Regional Sales
Manager to cover the western territories and one to cover the eastern
territories. The Regional Sales Manager for the Western region will need to be based in Los Angeles County (or thereabouts). The
location for the Regional Sales Manager for the Eastern Region is
open. Due to the heavy amount of travel, however, living within
reasonable driving distance to a major airport is preferred. Those with extensive experience selling structured cable are preferred. A minimum of three-to-five years in electrical or mechanical commercial products thru distribution channels. A Bachelors degree in Business or Electrical Engineering, or equivalent experience IF FULLY QUALIFIED, please respond to: Patrick J. Kerrison Phone Nos.: 800-979-8701 x1169 or 503-287-8701 x1169 or my direct line: 503-290-1169 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Please visit my company’s website at: http://www.mrportland.com
Optic Connector company based in Hickory, N.C. is currently recruiting
for an Applications Engineer, a Product Development Engineer, and
a Business Development person.
engineer must have 3-5 years in Fiber Optics, a Bachelor's degree in a
technical discipline, excellent communications and statistical
Product Development engineer
must have 3-5 years technical experience preferable in fiber
optics/connectors, a Bachelor's degree in engineering, and CAD skills.
Development Specialist must have 3-5 years in a technical role, a
technically based Bachelor's degree, and a desire to transition to
a role working closely with the customer, product management, and
Interested candidates should submit their resume, references, and salary requirements to email@example.com.
Verizon: Fiber Network Field
Technician (Outside Field Technician)
Openings in the following areas:
CA, TX, WA, OR, VA, MA, NJ, RI
Take your career to new heights
at a company that's a leader in global communications: Verizon.
We offer an unparalleled opportunity to advance your career while
contributing in an enthusiastic, team-oriented environment.
Primary duties include, but
are not limited to:
Install, remove, rearrange,
program, test, troubleshoot and maintain fiber network services.
Install and configure routers, set top boxes. May assist
with installation of PC software as needed and ensure proper
configuration of the customer's PC. Interact with the Fiber
Solution Center as needed. May install appropriate inside
Install, maintain and repair outside and inside fiber equipment/facilities
including inside wiring and fiber jumpers at the distribution
Interface with customer to negotiate the placement of equipment;
may assist with account registration, e-mail, and web access,
and training the customer on how to use the new equipment. Ensure
customer satisfaction. Respond to inquiries and provide
follow-up, as necessary.
Interpret schematic work order drawings to determine job specifications
and installation needs. Order and/or obtain required equipment.
Effect problem solving where appropriate.
Utilize various test equipment to analyze equipment trouble and
take appropriate maintenance action.
Requires high level of customer
contact to ensure customer satisfaction.
Climbing poles and ladders; lifting 75-100 pounds on a regular
basis; pushing, reaching, bending and stooping; manual dexterity;
good sense of balance; and good color vision.
Must have a current/valid California Drivers License and a clean
Qualified candidates must pass all company required tests, a
pre-employment drug screen and a background check. In addition,
candidates will be required to successfully pass a legally required
DOJ Criminal Records Check/screening process (fingerprinting).
Candidates must be able to work any shift given, including days,
weekends, holidays and overtime as required.
Hourly rate for this position
is $12.87-28.55. Wage credit may be granted for related
work experience and/or college degree.
Benefits include medical, dental, life insurance, 401(k) with
Company match and paid vacation
Reading these will help you
understand what each FOA certification covers and how to prepare
New Professional Society
for Structured Cabling Recognizes Importance of Fiber Optics
The new Structured Cabling Association,
is a professional society aimed at installers of "structured
cabling" or premises cabling. Structured cabling has been
focused on so-called "Cat 5" or UTP cabling for years,
while network speeds have left UTP behind. Now most backbones
for LANs are fiber optics and every network seems to have wireless.
The SCA, founded in part by FOA activists Tom Collins and Jim
Hayes, intends to make structured cabling training and certification
more relevant to today's world.
FOA Logo Merchandise
FOA has arranged with EmbroidMe
to provide FOA logo merchandies. Identify yourself as a FOA-certified
tech or instructor. The lab coats are super impressive for either
cabling techs and instructors. Check
out the selection.
FOA Certification Top Choice
The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber
optics. Over 23,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 200 schools.
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 160+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint
Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers, Corning
Cable Systems and AFL
for their installation training programs and NASA's Goldstone
Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is
Your Name, CFOT - It pays
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!
Tech Puzzler: These are hybrid mating adapters for 2.5 mm ferrule connectors. From the left: ST-FC, SC-FC, SC-ST. See the connector
ID page on Tech Topics.
See the Lennie Lightwave
for a complete tutorial and more.