The FOA's textbook, The Fiber
Optic Technicians Manual, is used by our approved schools
around the world to teach fiber optics. While most technicians
working with fiber optics use English as a technical language,
we have heard from many instructors that the book would be more
useful if it were available translated into local languages,
especially Spanish, due to the growing market in Latin and South
America. The FOA, working with Delmar Publishing and Francisco
Castro Cabrera of Mexico City, who is starting up our new FOA
chapter in Mexico which will service Spanish-speaking countries,
has produced the first textbook for fiber optics in Spanish.
Translations were done by Francisco Castro with review by Patrick
Sullivan who teaches fiber optics in Spain.
Now we have our textbook in
Spanish, we have also translated our CFOT exams and will have
other FOA materials available in Spanish soon, greatly facilitating
the training of fiber optic technicians in Spanish-speaking countries.
Contact us if you need more
Book Details: Manual Del
Technico De Fibra Optica, Published by Thomson Delmar Learning,
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.
Sooner or Later...
As a participant in a panel discussion
on providing broadband connections to rural customers recently,
audience members wanted to know if they should go ahead with fiber
optics or continue to use copper. It was mentioned by a participant
from the government that the agency that funds rural expansion
will only fund communications future projects that plan to offer
more than 45 Mb/s capacity to allow for HDTV transmission and
that really means that only fiber is acceptable.
I told the audience that here in California, the AAA advertises
"Sooner or later, you'll break down and join AAA!" I
thought the fiber optic business should adopt a similar motto:
"Sooner or later, you'll break down and install fiber!"
Verizon Selling FiOS At Shopping
While on a recent visit to Boston,
we ran across a Verizon FiOS kiosk at the Burlington Mall shopping
center. It had several computers connected on FIOS and knowledgeable
personnel manning the kiosk. Literature (right) explained FiOS
technology and services well. According to the signs in the kiosk,
FiOS service is available in over 35 towns in the Boston suburbs,
New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Trivia: Who is Dan Bricklin? He's the guy who co-developed
"Visicalc," the first PC spreadsheet and the "killer
ap" that led to the widespread adoption of PCs by business!
More Trivia: What does "FIOS" mean? FIber
Optic Service? According to Wikipedia,
Verizon's Trademark (No. 3001081) application says FiOS is a
Gaelic word for "knowledge".
May Carry Multiple Channels
Holey fibers are a subject of
much R&D, but primarily for trying to create fibers that
are higher bandwidth or have particular characteristics to modify
transmission parameters. A UK defense contractor has another
idea. A holey fiber has been fabridated with 37 holes sized exactly
to be singlemode at 850 nm. A number of VCSEL sources were aligned
with individual holes to transmit separate signals, in effect
creating a parallel transmission link over a single fiber. Their
goal was to create a faster link between IC chips at lower power
that copper interconnects, but one suspects it could be a contender
for 10 or 100 Gb networks. Read more at http://fibers.org/articles/news/8/7/2/1.
NEW-FOA Technical Bulletins
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 print and use.
The 2006 FTTH Conference &
Expo will be held in Las Vegas at The Venetian Resort ·
Hotel · Casino on October 2 5, 2006. As usual, the
FTTH Council will have many informative technical sessions and
a lively trade show.
The 2006 FTTH Conference &
Expo will attract over 2,500 FTTH leaders and decision makers
from across North America, Europe and Asia to hear keynotes from
industry visionaries, learn from over 50 track sessions and meet
with 170 exhibitors representing the latest services and technologies.
Hiromichi Shinohara, Director
of NTT Access Network Service Systems Labs, will open the conference
on October 3rd. Mr. Shinohara has been engaged in research and
development of fiber optic cables, broadband networks and optical
access systems since joining NTT Laboratories in 1978. The conference
lineup of keynotes also include Robert (Bob) Ingalls, President
of Verizon,s Retail Markets Group, Jeffrey Weber, Vice President,
Product & Strategy, AT&T and featured speaker Jim Carroll,
futurist, trends and innovation expert.
Lightwave/KMI Executive Briefing
(preconference): The Market Dynamics of FTTX and Video Service
This Executive Briefing will
examine the dynamics of today,s FTTX market, particularly as
it relates to the provision of video services. The briefing will
examine the demand and technical requirements for various video
services; explore consumer perceptions of video services, including
who provides them and how they are provided; highlight how current
and future equipment and architecture choices can affect video
service delivery (and vice versa); and provide examples of how
carriers have implemented video services via their optical access
networks. Speakers will include market researchers and analysts
and representatives of the service provider and vendor communities
We covered the extreme increase
in the price of copper recently and how it is another good reason
to consider fiber optics. But the high price of copper has a
While in New York City recently,
the papers carried an interesting story. Three homeless men were
arrested for starting one of the largest fires ever in NYC. They
were stealing copper wire from abandoned buildings and were told
it was higher priced without insulation. So they piled the wire
outside one of the buildings, doused it with gasoline and torched
it off. As the fire got out of control, it burned a bunch of
Three men were arrested in Lake
Tahoe for cutting down phone lines to steal the copper and disrupted
communications in the area.
And one person was killed trying
to cut down a live high voltage power line to steal the copper.
What connector is this? We're
going to run a few months of having you try to identify fiber
optic connectors, some common, some obscure. Recognize this one?
It's still used in some process control and military applications.
Why are there two versions?
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.
New: 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.
Check Recent Job Openings
In Previous Issues of The FOA Newsletter
FOA CFOT Renewals Get Free
Copy of NECA/FOA Installation Standard
Every CFOT renewal will now
receive a free copy of NECA 301-2004,
Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables, produced by
The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical Contractors
Association). This is an important reference document for defining
the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants in a
"neat and workmanlike manner."
The FOA feels this is such an
important document that we are giving a free copy (normally priced
at $15) to every active CFOT when they renew their active status.
The FOA has also sent free copies
to all FOA-Approved schools. The new FOA CFOT exam to be used
after August, 2005, will include questions from the standard.
Schools should be including information from the standard in
their classes already.
New PowerPoint Presentation
Introduces Fiber Optics - in English or Spanish!
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/
FOA Certification Top Choice
The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber
optics. Over 15,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 120 schools
as the FOA completed its 10th 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 125+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint
Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers, Corning Cable Systems for their installation
training programs and NASA's Goldstone Tracking Station. The
complete list of FOA-Approved schools is at http://www.thefoa.org/foa_aprv.htm.
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!
Tech Puzzler: SMA
Amphenol developed the SMA from the "Subminiature A"
hence SMA, microwave connector. The model 905 had a machined
ferrule exactly 1/8 inch in diameter that mated in a machined
adapter. When the adapters were not precise enough for better
fibers, a necked-down ferrule that mated with a Delrin adapter
for better insertion loss performance. These connectors are still
in use on some military and industrial systems.