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May 2022

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Note we have changed the format to place articles in sections on one topic and all articles are dated so you know if we repeat one - which we often do when we think it's very important!


Fiber U And What It Can Do For You
Pole Stories
Who's Responsible For The Pole
Reuse Or Recycle Fiber Cable
Fiber Project Timeline
Resources For Broadband
More About FTTH & Rural Broadband

Newsletter Sections

Click on any link to jump to that section

UK Project To Install Fiber In Water Pipes
Building Longest Submaring Cable
AT&T Says Goodbye To Copper, Hello To Rural FTTH
California Chooses Utopia For Rural Projects
Fiber Project damages Gas Pipe In Texas
Got An Idea For A New Fiber Tool?

Useful New Products
Measuring Loss - dB Again

Warning For Techs About Fiber Amplifiers
FOA Online Loss Budget Calculator

Worth Reading  Lots of interesting articles

Q&A    Questions from our readers

Training/FiberU Beware Of Fake FOA School,  New FOA-Approved Schools, Fiber U MiniCourses, making training classroom safe, onine training, materials, more
Resources New FOA YouTube Videos.  Safety  


FOA Certifications: 

CFOT Total

Time To Renew Your FOA Certifications?
Special offer - 1/3 Off Renewal

See FOA Jobs Web Page and FOA on FOA on LinkedIn
The FOA Jobs Web Page has been updated and a new page added on Using your FOA Training/Certification to Find the Right Job in Fiber Optics

Where Are The Jobs In Fiber Optics? FOA talks about all the applications for fiber optics, what jobs involve and the qualifications for the workers in the field in this YouTube video.

Join The FOA eMail Newsletter List
Want to be notified when the FOA Newsletter is updated? Sign up for the FOA eMail Newsletter. You can also sign up from your cell phone: text "FOA" to 22828 (usual text message charges apply)

Trademarks: The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) and Fiber U® (the FOA online self-study program) are registered trademarks of the FOA.
FOA Guide
Want to know more about fiber optics? Study for FOA certifications? Free Self-Study Programs are on "Fiber U®." Looking for specific information? Here's the largest technical reference on the web: The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

Free online self-study programs on many fiber optics and cabling topics are available at Fiber U, FOA's online web-based training website.

 FOA Reference Books
Available Printed or eBooks
The fiber book is available in Spanish and French

FOA Reference
                          Guide to Fiber Optics book FOA
                          Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book FOA
                          Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book FOA
                          Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book
FOA Reference
                          Guide to Fiber Optic Network Design book FOA Book
                        on Fiber Optic Testing FOA
                            Outside Plant Fiber Optics Construction
                            Guide  Lennie Lightwave

Lennie and Uncle Ted's Guides are now also available as free iBooks on iTunes.
                        Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics   Uncle
                        Ted's Guide to Premises Cablling
Click on any of the books to learn more.
Fiber Optic Safety Poster to download and print

FOA Videos on videos

FOA is a member of:

TIA Online
FTTH Council

The FOA Newsletter is edited by Jim Hayes - send your stories, leads, ideas, comments to <jim @>
Jim Hayes

Search the FOA Website With DuckDuckGo

Top Stories From The 2021 FOA Newsletters

The Archives: Past Issues.
Use these links to read past issues or use FOA's  Custom Search to look for specific topics on our website.
1/22, 2/22, 3/22, 4/22, 5/22,    
1/21, 2/21. 3/21, 4/21, 5/21, 6/21, 7/21, 8/21, 9/21, 10/21, 11-12/21,      
1/20, 2/20, 3/20. 4/205/20, 6/20, 7/20, 8/20, 9/2010/20, 11/20, 12/20
1/19, 2/19, 3/19, 4/19, 5/19, 6/19, 7/19, 8/19, 9/19, 10/19, 11/1912/19
1/18, 2/18, 3/18, 4/18, 5/18, 6/18, 7/18, 8/18, 9/18, 10/18, 12/18
1/17, 2/17, 3/17, 4/17, 5/17, 6/17, 7/17, 8/17, 9/17, 10/17, 11/17, 12/17 
1/16, 2/16, 3/16,  4/16, 5/166/167-8/16, 9/16, 10/16, 11/16, 12/16     
1/15, 2/15, 3/15, 4/15, 5/15, 6/15, 7/15, 8/15, 9/15 , 10/1511/15 , 12/15
1/14, 2/14, 3/14, 4/14, 5/14, 6/14, 7/14, 8/14, 9/14, 10/14, 11/14, 12/14 
1/132/13, 3/13, 4/13, 5/13, 6/13, 7/13, 8/13, 9/13, 10/13, 11/1312/13 
1/12 , 2/12, 3/12, 4/12, 6/12, 7/12, 8/12, 9/12, 10/12, 11/12, 12/12   
1/11 ,  2/11,  3/11,  4/11,  6/11, 7/11, 8/11,  9/11, 10/11, 11/11,  12/11,  
1/10 ,  2/10, 3/10,  4/10,   05/10,  07/10, 08/10,  09/10,  10/10, 11/10 
1/09 ,  2/09,  3/09, 04/09,  05/09,  07/09, 08/09, 09/09, 10/09, 11/09,  12/09
1/08 , 2/08, 3/08, 4/08, 5/08,  6/08, 7/08, 8/08, 09/0810/08, 11/08,  12/08 
12/07 , 11/07, 10/07, 09/07, 08/07, 07/07, 06/07, 05/07, 04/07, 03/07, 2/07, 1/07
12/06 , 11/06, 10/06, 09/06, 8/06, 7/06, 6/06, 5/06, 4/06, 3/06, 2/06, 1/06,
12/05 ,11/05, 10/05, 09/05, 08/05, 07/05, 6/05, 5/05, 4/05, 2/05, 01/05,
12/04 , 10/04, 9/04, 8/04, 7/04, 6/04, 5/04, 4/04, 3/04, 1/04,
12/03 , 11/03 10/03 9/03, 8/03, 7/03, 6/03, 3/03, 10/02 , 8/02, 5/02

Current Issue of FOA Newsletter

Time To Renew Your FOA Certifications?

To keep your FOA certifications active, you need to renew them when they expire. Now we have a new more convenient way to renew - an online store at Paypal - where you can quickly and conveniently use your PayPal account or your credit card to renew your certifications.

You can now renew with PayPal or a credit card
PayPal is available worldwide

Join FOA On  Social Media

FOA on LinkedIn

FOA has 3 LinkedIn Groups

FOA - official page on LinkedIn - covers FOA, technology and jobs in the fiber optic marketplace

FOA Fiber Optic Training - open to all, covers fiber optic technology and training topics

Grupo de La Asociación de Fibra Óptica FOA (Español)

FOA Newsletter -

All About Fiber U And What It Can Do FOR YOU!

Fiber U

Readers of the FOA Newsletter are always seeing references to Fiber U, FOA's popular free online learning site. Many of you are already using it and know it well, but we thought a introduction might be in order for those of you who have not used it and even introduce new possibilities to those of you who use it now.

What Is Fiber U?
Fiber U is a online learning site that provides free online self-study courses. The first Fiber U was created in 1997 by a Boston schoolteacher working with us as a summer intern. He had created some of the very first online courses for the Boston teachers using a simple model - classroom course lesson plans.

He started with a lesson plan that organized the content of the course and ended with a quiz to allow the person taking the course to test their comprehension. While a classroom course would use a printed lesson plan and textbooks with a quiz handed out by the instructor, he set up the course online. The "lesson plan" was the home page, with each section of the lesson linking to another web page with the technical content to study. After finishing the lesson, there was a link to a quiz on the material with answers available after finishing it.

Lennie  Fiber U iPhone

  Fiber U started so long ago that Lennie Lightwave was using an original iMac. Today it runs on any device.

Almost 25 years later, today's Fiber U works just about the same way; only the software for creating the online material is more sophisticated. And of course the number of subjects available have increased, based on the almost 1,000 pages of technical reference material in the FOA Guide and more than 100 videos on YouTube. We even provide links to the FOA printed textbooks, if you prefer the printed page.

Today Fiber U offers more than two dozen free courses on a full range of topics covering fiber optics and premises cabling and we're adding more all the time. FOA offers tests for a Certificate of Completion allowing course takers to get a permanent record of their successfully completing the course for a nominal fee, perfect for adding to your resume.

How Can You Use Fiber U?
The most popular use of Fiber U is for an individual to want to learn more about a particular subject, say FTTH, OTDR testing or midspan access. They can take the course and check their comprehension with the free quizzes for each lesson section, then decide if they want the Certificate of Completion. Having a Fiber U Certificate of Completion is widely recognized as a sign of competence, good for the resume when it comes to employment searches or impressing customers.

Blended Learning Courses
Schools can use Fiber U for what's called "blended learning." During the pandemic, many of the FOA schools required their class attendees to take Fiber U courses to reduce the time spent in the classroom, instead spending most of the time in hands-on labs developing skills. Blended learning can be either independent, where the student completes the class on their own with the instructor available for questions by email, or it can involved instructor led sessions using video conference services like Zoom.

Prepare For FOA Certification Exams
Fiber U offers courses aligned toward FOA certifications, so if you are preparing to take the FOA certification exams or just getting ready to take a course from one of the hundreds of FOA approved schools, Fiber U provides a free way to prepare for taking the FOA certification exams. The materials covered are the same, so you know you will be studying the right technical materials.

OJT to Cert  And Work to Cert Programs
The FOA Work to Cert program for experienced fiber techs uses the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics course to prepare techs for taking the CFOT exam. The FOA OJT to Cert program for newcomers doing on-the-job training (OJT) with a contractor also uses this program, starting with the basics then advancing to other topics that are relevant to their work on the job.

Programs For Companies
Companies and contractors have really been using Fiber U for OJT and Work to Cert programs. FOA has worked with several to create structured OJT programs for their employees - not just newcomers but experienced fiber techs looking to grow professionally - that lead them through a series of courses to improve their knowledge and work skills.

Remember the online courses at Fiber U are free; just a nominal charge for using our online testing service to get a certificate of completion. We've also made arrangements with contractors to allow employees to take free Certificate of Completion tests and we bill the contractor directly.

How can Fiber U help you and your company? Ask the FOA.

Fiber U Adds More Free Online Self-Study Programs including Basic Fiber Optics in Spanish.  

More Pole Stories And Photos

Sharp-eyed FOA Instructor Milt Murry keeps sending us photos from his neighborhood in St. Louis. From these photos, we wonder if the local owners of the utility poles always does their pole replacement with a chain saw.

Pole repair

This is not the first time we've run photos from Milt showing poles with a sawed-off piece of pole left hanging. At least in this case, they appear to have attached it to the new pole, unlike the earlier ones where they left it hanging from the messenger.

pole pole stub

There appears to be a crew in St. Louis that finds this workmanship acceptable. And a company that accepts it on their cable plants. We're left speechless.

Pole Replacement Done Right

We've run photo stories of pole replacement in our neighborhood in Santa Monica, CA (above), and we can attest to the fact that the workmanship is first rate. They have replaced most of the poles in the alley behind our building and the process is fascinating. They shut the power off, support the wires using bucket trucks and temporary supports, unbolt the hardware from the pole and pull the pole from the ground with a big crane.

Installing the new pole reverses the process and all the wires go on new hardware. The entire process for a pole takes less than 8 hours and when they are finished, it's hard to tell any work was done at all - it looks just like it did before, just a bit neater.

Here is a photo from April 5, 2022 at the end of our alley:

pole replacement Santa monica

We've watched and photographed these replacements so many times, the crews from Southern California Edison remember us. We introduce ourselves and the FOA, offering them information on fiber optics. On this day, one of the guys we've introduced to fiber, Juan, wanted to get his photo taken with us.

Pole in SM JH

If A Pole Problem Exists, Who's Responsible?

When you have many users on a single utility pole, it can get interesting trying to get it fixed because you first have to find out who is responsible for the problem. A recent article in the Washington Post by Columnist John Kelly titled "When it comes to utility wires and boxes, companies pass the buck."

It started when a cover panel fell from a utility box on a pole in Mr. Kelly's neighborhood in Silver Spring, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC. It sat on the ground for weeks while Mr. Kelly tried to find who was responsible for it. Unfortunately, the panel itself had no identification marks.

The person at the house where the panel fell had called PEPCO, the local power utility. It was not theirs but they did put a warning label on it.

The reporter contacted the Maryland Public Utility Commission who said PEPCO probably owned the pole. So the reporter also called PEPCO and asked if they knew who owned the equipment since it was their pole. They did not.

PEPCO suggested he call the county. They did not know either, but was able to give him numbers of companies that might own the equipment: Verizon, Comcast, RCN and DirectTV.

So follow this closely: Verizon looked at a photo and said it was a Comcast box. Comcast came to the site to examine it and said it was not theirs but was probably a Verizon or RCN box.  DirectTV said it was not theirs and contacted AT&T to determine it was not theirs either. 

Next the reporter called Montgomery County's Office of Consumer Protection which passed him along to the county Office of Broadband Programs. They sent a crew over which inspected the box and said it was an old RCN power supply. They wrote up an alert to RCN. When the reporter called RCN, they already had the alert and had created a repair ticket. The next day it was fixed.

This Is A Problem

This is a consistent problem with aerial cables and equipment. Too many users, no point of contact. The workmanship we see on poles now is abominable. And remember now we now have "One Touch Make Ready" so who knows what can happen.

Recycle Or Reuse Fiber Optic Cable?

A subject that comes up occasionally is whether fiber optic cable can be reused or recycled, or if there is a market for cable that is old or damaged. The most recent call was from an environmental consultant. Another call was from an insurance company with a large stock of data center cable involved in a flood while awaiting installation.

Scrap cableThis is a matter of concern because there is a lot of scrap cable leftover from new installations and some old cable removed to install new cable. Much of this cable ends up in landfills, which creates a problem. Since fiber optic cable is engineered for a long lifetime, 40 years or more, it does not decompose in a landfill in a reasonable time. That creates a problem for landfills.

Proper design can reduce the excess cable leftover from new projects, and some of the cable should be stored for emergency restorations. Lengths over 1 km may be of interest to brokers who resell cables.

The question of reusing fiber optic cable is easy to answer. Practically no OSP fiber optic cable is removed unless it it old and obsolete or damaged and ready for disposal. Premises cable might be removed as part of a network upgrade, but that means it's probably obsolete and the chance of damage in removal is very high. (Most cable removed is cut into smaller lengths to simplify removal anyway.)

Even older fiber optic cable that has just been in storage is hard to sell in our experience. The questions raised include the manufacturer and the date of manufacture, the type and manufacturer of the fiber in the cable, how  the cable has been stored and if there is recent test data. We are aware of several offerings of older cable but are not aware of any of it being sold and installed. Does anybody know of any deals like this?

There is also the issue of economics. How much can you save on cheap cable when the cable is a small fraction of the total cost of the cable plant? Installation is the largest cost, of course. Why be "penny wise but pound foolish" as the old saying goes?

The idea of recycling is also problematic. Unlike a drink bottle, a fiber optic cable is not all one type of plastic. Typical OSP cable construction includes a center fiberglass rod, surrounded by buffer tubes full of fiber - and usually dry or gel water blocking compound - wrapped in aramid fiber strength members, then a PE jacket and perhaps a metallic armor and another jacket. It's hard to conceive of a way to separate the different components so you could recycle some of the plastic. Even chopping it up to use as filler in certain plastic products is hard. Imagine trying to chop a cable into bits with the aramid fiber strength members in the cable.

One company has developed a method of recycling old fiber optic cable into filler for items like plastic planks used for building or gardens and shipping pallets. Steve Maginnis of LD4Recycle/ CommuniCom Recycling has developed a proprietary process and the machinery that can reduce fiber optic cable to a filler that can be used in these artificial wood products. (If you have cable that needs recycling, contact Steve at or 1-803-371-5436.

The second call we got recently was different. An agent for an insurance company wanted to know if there was a market for a large batch of cables awaiting installation in a hyperscale data center that was involved in a flood caused by a water main breakage. Only a small number of cables got wet, but the whole lot - more than $5 million in cables - was declared a total loss. The agent wondered if there was a market for this cable.

If you are interested in this large lot of cables, contact Mark Brown, Greer & Kirby,
714-329-2476 or

FOA generally tells these callers that there is not a big market for selling such cables, although eBay lists thousands of spools of fiber optic cable of all varieties. About the only other use we recommend is giving the cable to a training organization like one of the FOA schools who can use it in their hands-on labs. Over the years, FOA schools have accepted gifts of lots of cables for this use.

Planning A Fiber Optic Project?  Here's The FOA Fiber Optic Project Timeline

A fiber optic project can be broken down into stages - planning, design, installation and operation - with various subtopics like the ones shown below. These stages operate in overlapping time frames and will have different timing depending on the size and complexity of the project plus a number of issues that can occur at various stages.


The FOA Guide To Fiber Optic Projects includes this timeline and comments on project planning and implementation.

More Resources For FTTH And  Broadband From FOA

FOA has been running frequent articles on broadband project funding and planning, three in the last newsletter alone:
  • Broadband Funding Information From The Source  
  • Biden Administration Releases Guidebook on Infrastructure Law Implementation (3/22)
  • Pew Charitable Trusts' Broadband Education and Training Initiative Helps States Increase High-Speed Internet Access

We're now putting all these resources into some pages devoted specifically to to broadband projects:

FOA Broadband Pages

Many projects are being planned using the new US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The FOA has a page devoted to understanding the IIJA and how to obtain help in planning and funding broadband projects. FOA Broadband Planning Page.

FOA Reference Page On Rural Broadband is intended to be a reference guide for those looking for more information on rural broadband and FTTH. It includes some basic information about rural broadband and gathers up links to the many articles FOA has done on the topic, the FOA Guide pages on broadband and FTTH.

The Fiber U FTTH/Broadband self-study course is free and you can get your certificate of completion free too. This is a good way to learn about FTTH technology for broadband.

Video Lecture:  FOA Lecture 70 Rural Broadband, Obstacles And Opportunities,

Both the video lecture and the reference page are also intended for those trying to get a project started to have a link for others interested in the project to learn more about what is involved.

Read more about the FOA's FTTH technical information updates

FTTH                    Handbook
The Fiber Optic Association Fiber To The Home Handbook is available from Amazon in print ($19.95) and Kindle ($9.95) editions.

More about FTTH from the FOA Newsletter

June 2021 - FTTH Special Issue  (FTTH Tech Update covering new equipment and network architectures for rural FTTH.

August, 2021   - Rural FTTH Special Issue

March 2022 Is Rural Only Farms?

February 2022 Helping Make Rural Broadband Possible -
New FOA Technical/Educational Materials For Those Planning Rural Broadband

January 2022 - California Announces 18 Middle Mile Projects To Bridge Digital Divide (mostly rural)

November/December 2021 - Fiber To The Village in Nepal, $Billions For Broadband In US (But don't hold your breath!)

July 2021 - Broadband Internet in California, California Broadband Council report

March 2021 - Can Tapping Fiber Reduce Cost?  How Many Fibers? Optimal cable Size. 

FTTH                    Handbook
The Fiber Optic Association Fiber To The Home Handbook is available from Amazon in print ($19.95) and Kindle ($9.95) editions.

FOA Newsletter Sections

News     Technical    Worth Reading    Q&A    Training/FiberU    Resoures    Safety   About


Lots more news in Worth Reading below

‘Fibre In Water’ to deliver high-speed broadband in Yorkshire

A trial project in the North of England aims to deliver gigabit broadband connections to rural communities by feeding fibre optic cable through their water pipes. The ‘Fibre In Water‘ scheme aims to connect an estimated 8,500 homes and businesses through 17 kilometres of live drinking water mains. The project to provide broadband through water pipes could go live as early as 2024.

Digging up roads and installing new infrastructure can make up as much as four-fifths of the cost of a traditional gigabit broadband network, and can cause disruption to local communities. The Fibre In Water scheme hopes to demonstrate a greener, quicker and more cost-effective way of connecting fibre-optic cables, organisations involved in the project told Tech Monitor.

The ‘Fibre In Water’ network will be used to connect 5G masts to bring fast and reliable wireless broadband to hard-to-reach communities where wired solutions are too expensive to deliver commercially. “We’re committed to getting homes and businesses across the country connected to better broadband and this cutting-edge project is an exciting example of the bold measures this government is leading on to level up communities with the very best digital connectivity,” said digital infrastructure minister Julia Lopez.

The trial is the first of its kind in the UK and could lead to new gigabit connections in people’s homes as soon as 2024. If successful, the project could be replicated in other parts of the country, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DMCS). This could assist the government’s £5bn Project Gigabit, cited as the biggest broadband roll out in British history, which aims to provide gigabit connections to millions of rural homes and businesses that would otherwise have higher costs of connection.

Read more in Tech Monitor  

Consortium Begins Construction Of Longest Submarine Fiber Optic Cable

The 2Africa consortium has announced that the 2Africa submarine cable has made its first landing, in Genoa, Italy. Upon completion in 2024, the 45,000-km submarine network is expected to be the longest in the world, connecting 46 locations in Africa, Europe, and Asia. China Mobile International, Meta, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC announced plans for 2Africa in May 2020 to connect 23 countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Read more in Lightwave

Also see
2022 Submarine Cable Map depicts 486 cable systems and 1,306 landings that are currently active or under construction. Telegeography.

Kentucky’s Oldham County taps AT&T for FTTP

AT&T has been selected by a county in north central Kentucky to build a fiber to the premises (FTTP) network that will connect every home and small business within the county lines. The FTTP project will cost approximately $33 million and reach more than 20,000 customer locations. AT&T will own and operate the network

AT&T will use the FTTP infrastructure to offer symmetric broadband services of up to 5 Gbps. The service provider says that it has begun planning and engineering work and expects to begin offering services in parts of the county next year.

"Fiber-optics are essential to delivering a long-term solution for businesses and residents of Oldham County, and AT&T's experience and ability to operate and maintain these complex networks is critical to developing economic and educational opportunities in the county," commented David Voegele, Oldham County Judge Executive.

Stephen Hardy, Lightwave  

Editorial Comment: What a difference time makes - and maybe unloading an ill-fated investment in the entertainment business. It was not long ago that AT&T CEO
John Stankey told Wall St. analysts that he doesn't think there is any way to extend fiber to rural areas at all. And then, there is the article below where AT&T abandons DSL. Also note the cost of this project- $33million for 20,000 customers is just about right for rural networks: ~$1675 per connection.

AT&T Says Good-bye To Copper (4/22)

On October 1, 2020, AT&T announced it would no longer offer DSL services, relying on fiber and 5G wireless instead.(FOA Newsletter)  That was understandable, not just because of the limitations of DSL, but the company had fewer than 500,000 DSL customers, down almost 40% for two years before.

At the company's Analyst and Investor Day Webcast on March 11, 2022, the focus was on fiber and 5G, with plans to expand the fiber to more than 30 million locations, including 5 million business locations, by 2025, double the number in 2021. As more network traffic moves to fiber and 5G, AT&T expects to drive significant savings by reducing the company’s legacy copper footprint. By 2025, AT&T expects that 75% of its network footprint will be served via fiber and 5G and that it will have reduced its copper services footprint by 50%.

AT&T has created a FAQs page (frequently asked questions) about the phase out of copper called appropriately enough  "AT&T copper network retirement  We’re replacing our traditional copper-wire network with fiber optic technology."

Perhaps the best news is buried in this quote from the webcast: “Now that the close of the WarnerMedia deal is approaching, we are near the starting line of a new era for AT&T,” said John Stankey, AT&T chief executive officer. “The transformation we’ve undergone over the past 18 months while delivering outstanding operational results has brought us to this point. We will be a simpler, more focused company with the intent to become America’s best broadband provider. We plan to ramp up investment in our key areas of growth — 5G and fiber.

Investment in the network at AT&T will be more than $20 billion per year!

Welcome back to telecom, AT&T. Hollywood ain't what it's cracked up to be, eh?

Read the entire AT&T Analyst and Investor Day Webcast 

California Chooses Utopia To Build Rural Fiber Networks

The Golden State Connectivity Authority (GSCA) has chosen the municipally-owned open access network UTOPIA Fiber to design, build, and operate a new open access fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network across the 38 rural counties in the state of California. It's a move that not only offers the chance to bring future-proof connections to millions of rural California households in the near future, but have wide policy and industry implications for open access fiber networks down the road.


The Golden State Connectivity Authority is a joint powers authority (JPA) created by the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), which represents more than three dozen rural counties across the state. RCRC seeks to tackle the variety of shared problems that the state's rural communities face by advancing concrete policy solutions across transportation, energy, natural resources, governance, healthcare, and a collection of other arenas.

The Golden State Connectivity Authority  is one of its most recent projects, and explicitly aims to improve Internet access via municipal solutions. Its mission is to "assist rural counties in identifying pathways for development of internet infrastructure within their communities, including the construction of municipal-owned and/or operated internet systems, among other options."

GSCA leverages the collective power of the RCRC membership for financing efforts, to go after state and federal funds, and to combine the efforts of bringing together leadership to bridge the digital divide for Californians living outside of urban areas. RCRC member counties constitute about 14 percent of the state's population, or about 2.1 million households.

ILSR Community Networks  

Fiber Optic Cable Installation Dig-Up Causes Gas Leak In Rural Texas

Elgin is about 20 miles (30km) East of Austin. The FOA contributor was one of the people warned to evacuate. Because of the evacuation, we got no photos of the incident.

FOA Had A BUSY 2021

Below is a summary of some of the FOA accomplishments from 2021:

Top Stories From 2021 FOA Newsletters
Last Gasp For Multimode Fiber?  
Who Lost Lucent? The Decline of America's Telecom Industry. 
Things To Learn From A Town That Voted Down Fiber
Can Tapping Fiber Reduce Cost? 
How Many Fibers? Optimal cable Size. 
Women Installers In Alaska. 
FOA OJT To Cert Program
FTTH Month - June FOA Newsletter.
Building Rural FTTH - Learning From The History Of Rural Electrification
New FOA Guidelines For Training And Certification
Warning For Techs Doing Restoration (Fiber Amplification).

New Pages In The FOA Guide
Fiber Optic Sources For Transmitters
Midspan Access
Loss Budget Calculator - Online
FTTH Network Design. (plus updated pages in the FTTH section)

New Fiber U Courses
Fiber Characterization.
Basic Fiber Optics in Spanish
FTTH Update (Get the Certificate of Completion Free!)
Loss Budgets
How Fiber Works
Fiber Optic Color Codes
Reference Cables For Fiber Optic Testing
Basic Skills Labs - Link Demos

New FOA Publications
FOA FTTH Handbook.

New YouTube Lectures
FOA Lecture 61 Fiber Optic Color Codes    
FTTH Series
Lecture 63 FTTH Network Architectures  


On fiber optic technology, standards, equipment, installation, etc.

The FOA Update Page covers all the new technology and applications we covered in this newsletter recently. Now you can review all that new tech at once.


Want to know more about fiber optics? Study for FOA certifications? Free Self-Study Programs are on "Fiber U®." Looking for specific information? Here's the largest technical reference on the web: The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

Panduit PanMPO Connector Makes MPO More Convenient To Use

Panduit MPO

Panduit, the company that first introduced gender and polarity changing to the MPO connector has improved the design again. Now it has a smaller connector body, better for dense panels, and a push-pull book that simplifies insertion and removal.

Learn More (Video) 

Caddy Clip Simplifies Installing Cables Under Wire Cable Racks

Caddy Clip
We always warn people about installing fiber in the same cable trays as copper. Hanging it below the cable tray is much better. The Caddy nVent Low Voltage Accessory Clip makes it easy.  Read more.

Measuring Loss - Displaying dB As A Positive Number - Update

After noting the way the fiber optic meter in a photo sent by a reader displayed loss, we thought it would be interesting to check some more meters to see if they worked the same way. So here is a test we conducted:

power meter dB test

1: Meter and source set up for test. Meter reads -4.44 dBm and 359.6 microwatts in dBm mode
2: Meter changed to dB mode and zeroed
3: 3dB attenuator inserted in connection (arrow). Meter shows -3.07dB
4. Meter changed to dBm mode, shows -7.62 dBm and 172.3 microwatts.

So not all fiber optic power meter makers change loss to be a positive number, which can be confusing.

Measuring Loss - Displaying dB As A Positive Number- March 2022


A tech called us looking for troubleshooting help on a cable plant where it turned out there was damage to the cable. During our discussions, he sent along this photograph of his setup. We found the photo of the power meter display interesting in how it displayed loss.

dB loss

The display clearly says that the measurement is of "Loss" (#1). It also shows the loss as a positive number (2). Then below the loss it shows the reference power level "Ref" (3).

Knowing how many techs are confused by dB in measurements, we wonder how many could figure out the actual power level being measured. Is it -19.95 dBm + 9.72 dB =  -10.23 dBm or -19.95 dBm - 9.72 dB = 29.67 dBm ?

The manual for the instrument says a negative dB loss measurement is incorrect and offers possible reasons, so what do you do if you want to measure gain in a fiber amplifier?

Warning For Techs Doing OSP Restoration


FOA recently received an inquiry that was a new one; whether techs working on restoring OSP links should be concerned about eye safety if the link used fiber amplifiers. To answer this question, we had to do some research on fiber amplifiers. The short answer is YES, you should be concerned. The long answer is more technical and includes details that every OSP tech needs to know.

See "Fiber Amps And Restoration" in the FOA Newsletter Archives..

Try The FOA's Online Loss Budget Calculator

FOA has written many articles about loss budgets, something everyone involved in fiber optics needs to know and needs to know how to calculate. We've created a online Loss Budget Calculator that does the work for you. Just input your cable plant data and it calculates the loss budget. It works on any device, especially smartphones and tablets for field use and even allows printing the results.

                        Loss Budget Calculator

Bookmark this page (especially on your smartphone): FOA Loss Budget Calculator Online

Worth Reading

Each month we read hundreds of newsletters and online articles. These are the ones we think you will find "worth reading."

FOA Timeline of Fiber Optic History 

Fiber or copper?  AT&T PR photo from the mid 1970s

The FOA's History

Worth Reading (And Watching):

May 2022

Google Video On Their Undersea Cables YouTube
Slick but interesting video on how undersea cables are designed, built and used.

Corning's Sustainability Report 2021  

Dilbert Comic 4/15/22:
Wally solves the fiber optic cable supply chain problem

The Indiana Broadband Office is a one-stop-shop for all things broadband in Indiana. State of Indiana guidelines for community broadband projects.

PON Equipment Spending up 32 Percent Y/Y  The Broadband Access equipment market increased 12 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) from spending on both FTTH PON infrastructure and fixed wireless CPE.

2022 Submarine Cable Map depicts 486 cable systems and 1,306 landings that are currently active or under construction. Telegeography.

RTI Telecom Magazine from  Brazil, in Portuguese. A revista RTI do mês de abril já está disponível online e recomendo a leitura de alguns artigos: 

Telestra does restoration after recent Australian floods. Instagram.

Comcast deploys hollow core fiber in low latency, multi-gigabit quest. Light in air goes 50% faster than in glass reducing latency.

Ting, a rapidly-expanding ISP, explains how microtrenching helps them install fiber with minimal disruption.

Mississippi Electrical Coops Rapidly Connecting Rural Users. ILSR Community Networks.

April 2022

CENIC Technology Roundtables - Videos of past webcasts on wIreless and CATV broadband with fiber coming soon. Some of the best reviews of state of the art technology from California's state of the art R&D and education network.

Construction Without Disruption - FOA President Jim Hayes' column in ISE Magazine

State of California Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative - California ALL program

Bandwidth Hawk: Big Federal Money Ahead … But Proceed with Caution - Steven S. Ross  |  Broadband Communities - Early movers already see unexpected hurdles as a result of labor shortages, backordered fiber and electronics, inflation and unforeseen financing issues. Many are not meeting cash flow projections because they can’t finish projects on time.

Illinois (and Possibly New York) Poised to Fumble Federal Broadband Funds ILSR Remember the history of incombents getting state laws passed to prevent competition? Well, history repeats itself.

LA County Moves Closer to Municipal Broadband - ILSR Community Networks - WiFi on street lights

March 2022

Every State Has a Chance to Deliver a “Fiber for All” Broadband Future: Electronic Frontier Foundation

CI&M Magazine has a slideshow of bad aerial cable installs in their home area (New Hampshire) and in California (provided by FOA)

New York City: The Case for a Carrier-Neutral Infrastructure - Broadband Communities - "there is growing momentum for open-access infrastructure, which allows multiple providers to compete for customers"

Pew Charitable Trusts has released a couple of new tools for state broadband offices preparing for the influx of federal funding. ILSR

PEW Charitable Trusts has a broadband initiative that aims to help local networks get started.

Lightwave 2-22

Read the latest issue of Lightwave   Covering the OFC Conference, highlights: coherent and 10G PON.

February 2022

Fiber Optics Installed By The Lowest Bidder  - ISE Magazine - by Jim Hayes, FOA President.

Building Broadband During Component and Worker Shortages - Broadband Communities - Completing broadband builds requires competent fiber optic techs, but training them requires understanding how they learn - by Jim Hayes, FOA President.

  dpPro Magazine

The latest Issue of dP-PRO, the "call before you dig" magazine, is online. It's the 2022 Special Locate issue. 

New Fiber Optic Magazine In Spanish

Todo Fibra Optica is a new digital magazine in Spanish for fiber optics in Latin America. Jose Enriquez, editor of  Todo Fibra Optic magazine has many years experience in the fiber optic industry so he knows the industry well. FOA will be working with him to share our extensive technical materials in Spanish.


Latest Issue.

José Manuel Enriquez Mora, Editor
Todo Fibra Optica LLC
+52 222 302 8224

Lightwave Magazine Is Back! 

                      Magazine is back!

Lightwave Magazine is back after many years as only a online newsletter. Lightwave was started in 1984 by Howard Rausch, a veteran newsman, a gentleman and a scholar! (JH) We reported on the demise of the printed version of Lightwave in the FOA Newsletter of March 2009. Lightwave is back as a digital magazine, perfect for the times, and still headed by Editorial Director Stephen Hardy, a veteran of the fiber optic community with great in-dept knowledge of the technology, companies and people who make fiber optics what it is today. Lightwave's comprehensive website continues too. All very worthwhile reading.

Statistics on US Labor In Telecom

Eric Pearson sent us some links to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the US Workforce. Granted it was updated in May 2019, but has lots of useful and interesting information on where the work is and what workers are paid.


Read the reports here:

Telecommunications Line Installers and Repairers   (Install and repair telecommunications cable, including fiber optics.

Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers  (Install,
set up, rearrange, or remove switching, distribution, routing, and dialing equipment used in central offices or headends. Service or repair telephone, cable television, Internet, and other communications equipment on customers’ property. May install communications equipment or communications wiring in buildings.

How Much Does A Cable Installer Earn?

1995-2020 - FOA's 25th Anniversary!

As part of celebrating 25 years of serving the fiber optic industry as its primary source of technical information and independent certifying body, FOA thought it appropriate to create a short history of the organization and how it has developed  to help the fiber optic industry. We also wanted to recognize the contributions many people have made to the organization over the years that made FOA what it is today.

The FOA history is now archived on the FOA website where you can read it anytime or link to it.
Updated info - dB, total internal reflection and science projects,

Worth Reading - News Summary - Past Links Worth Repeating

1983 Video of AT&T's First Test Of A Submarine Cable System From the AT&T Tech Channel archives (worth exploring!)

Richard Epworth's Optical Fiber History from his work at STL from 1966 with Charles Kao.

Communications Systems Grounding Rules: Article 800 provides specific requirements  by Michael Johnston,  NECA Executive Director of Standards and Safety in EC Magazine

US Broadband Coverage By Service Provider from the FCC

How To Build Rural Broadband, Learning From History

In the August 2021 FOA Newsletter, we published a lengthy article on rural broadband and compared it to rural electrification in America in the last century. Much of the comparison was based on an article written in 1940 by a USDA economist, Robert Beall, called "Rural Electrification." 

If you are interested in or involved in rural broadband, we recommend you read the article "How To Build Rural Broadband, Learning From History" in the August 2021 FOA Newsletter and read the Beall article also.

Recycling Fiber Optic Cable -
Steve Maginnis
LD4Recycle/ CommuniCom Recycling
(Visit website)

Sumitomo's Ribbon Splicing Guide - download from one of the leaders in splicing.

"Who Lost Lucent?: The Decline of America's Telecom Equipment Industry"
This is a MUST READ for managers in telecom or any industry!

This long and well-researched and annotated article in American Affairs Journal should be mandatory reading for every high level manager in a telecom company - or any other company for that matter. To summarize the article, today, America has no major telecom equipment company and fears the major suppliers of equipment who are all foreign, especially the Huawei from China. This article explains how America got into this deplorable state.

OFS also has an excellent website and blog of tech articles worth browsing.

IEC 60050 - International Electrotechnical Vocabulary - An extensive dictionary for fiber optics in English and French. Highly technical - this is one definition: "mode - one solution of Maxwell's equations, representing an electromagnetic field in a certain space domain and belonging to a family of independent solutions defined by specified boundary conditions"

If you are interested in restoration - aren't we all? - you should also read this article in dpPro magazine by FOA President Jim Hayes: Damage Protection Requies Looking Overheas As Well As Underground - dpPRO Magazine - about the problems with aerial cables. His previous article for the magazine was New Techniques for Fiber Optic Installation.

How much fiber optic cable is manufactured each year? CRU Reports - unsurprisingly China is by far the largest market today

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance weekly newsletter has lots of interesting articles and links.

The Open Technology Institute at New America just published “The Cost of Connectivity 2020,”

US Ignite and Altman Solon issued “Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities

Universal access to broadband is a cornerstone to a strong economy, Achieving universal access will require community partnerships. by
Alfreda B. Norman, Sr. VP,  Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

FIBER TO THE FARM: The co-ops that electrified Depression-era farms are now building rural internet. Be sure to check out the high-tech equine installation equipment.

Next Century Cities Newsletter - News from cities around the US including Detroit and New York plus small

Infrastructure Get Some Respect, NY TImes "On Tech"   "The magic of the internet requires a lot of very boring stuff behind the scenes. "

DIRT Report On Damage To Utilities Common Ground Alliance (CGA) annual DIRT report provides a summary and analysis of the events submitted into CGA’s Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) for the year 2018. The complete report is available for download here. In addition, there is an interactive dashboard that allows users to filter the data more  by factors contributing to damages.

Structured Cabling News - a website and weekly newsletter about cabling.

The Internet Master Plan for New York City. The New York City Internet Master Plan is a comprehensive framework for the infrastructure and services that provide connectivity to New York City residents and businesses. This Master Plan will guide City actions and public-private partnerships to transform New Yorkers’ access to this essential infrastructure for generations to come.

Fiber Trivia From Corning.

The Future Of Work Is Skills - So Stop Worrying About Degrees - The reality is the future of work is about skills, not just degrees. (FOA Newsletter Feb 2020)

The job market is hot. So why are half of U.S. grads missing out?  

VIAVI Books On Fiber Optic Testing (2 volumes) - They're back!

books  book 2

Besides the FOA reference materials, two JDSU/VIAVI textbooks, Reference Guide to Fiber Optic Testing, Volumes 1 and 2,  were used as references for some of the FOA courses and are recommended for instructors and students. The books are available from VIAVI as eBooks and the everyone should download them and recommend them to others.Download yours now. Volume 1. Volume 2. Viavi Books

Ciena's Submarine Cable Handbooks (4 to download)

Guidebook To MPO Testing OptoTest offers this complete guide to MTP®/MPO testing. In this guide, you will learn all there is to know about the different test methods, equipment options, troubleshooting, and best maintenance practices to ensure that you have the best testing experience. Go here to download the book.

50th Anniversary of The Development of Low Loss Fibers
A history of the development of low loss fiber, a fascinating story by Jeff Hecht on the OSA (Optical Society of America) website.

How OFS Makes Fiber

Interesting YouTube video on how fiber is made. Perhaps a little too much "show biz" but fascinating. If you have ever seen fiber manufacture, look at this video. You will be amazed at how big preforms have become!

How Nexans Makes Copper Cables - compare the process to fiber - don't most of the machines look similar?

The True Cost of Telco Damages (what backhoe fade or target practice can cost)

Rural Electric Cooperatives: Pole Attachment Policies and Issues, June 2019.

Clearfield-FOA Certification Training Clearfield is now offering their customers an FOA CERTIFICATION course. This course provides a basic understanding of fiber optic technology, as well as Clearfield product knowledge and how Clearfield’s integrated product systems work together in a fiber network.

Substandard Contractors - Fiber Optic Knowledge Doesn't Always Trickle Down  (EC Mag)

Another Source Of Articles On Fiber

FOA President and editor of this newsletter Jim Hayes has also been writing a column in Electrical Contractor Magazine for almost 20 years now. Electrical contractors do lots of fiber work and this column has covered some topics they are interested in including installation processes, network design, fiber applications and a lengthy series on dark fiber - what it is, how's its used and how it benefits the growth of communication. A recent web site redesign makes it easier to browse all these articles - just go to and you can see all of them.


When readers ask us questions, we genrally refer them to FOA resources where they can find the answer to their question and many more. We first send them to the FOA Guide which is the table of contents for the FOA technical resources. There they can find pages indexed by topic and a search engine for the FOA website. It also links them to FOA videos and courses on our free online learning site Fiber U.

The FOA Fiber FAQs Page (FAQs = frequently asked questions) gathers up questions readers have asked us (which first ran in this newsletter) and adds tech topics of general interest.

Good Question!

Tech Questions/Comments From FOA Newsletter Readers 

May 2022
Designations For Fibers
I'm currently working on a project involving optical fiber with VMS signs, CCTV cameras and other ITS equipment. I was wondering if there is a standard or a good practice which describe the typical assignation for each optical fiber on a 6 fibers cable for example?  By that, I mean :
- fibers number 1 and 2 : VMS;
- fibers number 3 and 4 : CCTV;
- fibers number 5 and 6 : spares
There are several ways people assign polarity on duplex links. The way you suggest is the most common I believe. Use the odd number fibers to transmit in one direction, even number fibers to transmit in the other direction and document the color codes.

Storing Fiber Optic Cable On Reels
is there a "standard" for how to store a fiber optic cable reel?
A: This is another detail that has not in my knowledge ever been included in a standard. However manufacturers usually put a note on the reel to keep it upright - standing on the edges of the spool sides, not flat on one side of the spool.  If the fiber is to be stored for a period of time, it should be stored in a cool dry place and the ends sealed with electrical tape.
(Photo storing cable on reel)

Optical Power Of FTTH Signals
I wanted to know on a fiber to home what is the optimal signal strength  I should receve at? I have a leg that is 21 km long I receive at 1490 at -22 dBm is that to low, everything looks good on my traces
A: The specifications for GPON are here.
The standard for GPON calls for receiver power at -13dBm max to -28dBm minimum, so -22 dBm is OK.

April 2022

850 LED Test Source
Q: I need to test multimode fiber at 850 nm but sources are hard to find and expensive. Can I use a laser?
A: Multimode fibers should be tested with an LED. Lasers have several problems in multimode fiber that may cause untrustworthy readings. The problem is that LEDs are no longer used for transmission systems; every MM system now uses VCSEL transmitters, a surface emitting laser. As a result most LEDs at 850nm for MM have gone out of production. Two engineers I know who have been looking for them say there is now only a few sources and the price is much higher that of a few years ago. We've been buying used test sources on eBay for training.

105 Micron Fiber?
Q: I have a customer asking about 105um fiber. Does it exist? What is it basically used for? After FOA suggested a clarifying question to the customer: The fiber is for Power over Fiber(PoF). The construction is 105um fiber with 125um cladding. The question or assumption would be – The termination would be the same as 50,62.5 or 8.3um with a 125um cladding?
A: The people who do laser surgery and power over fiber use special step index fibers and SMA connectors. The power density can be very high so the heat can build up in the cable. SMA connectors or the metal ferrule swaged-on connectors are often used for their all-metal construction with the ability to withstand heat and sometimes the need to be drilled for special fiber diameters. Because of the high power, the polish needs to be low reflectance, so we’d recommend using a wet polish and end with a very fine polishing film - 0.3 microns or so. Like polishing SM for DWDM.
Cleanliness is very important for these applications. I remember a call from a doctor doing laser surgery who kept ruining cables because they were dirty and the high power literally exploded the dirt and pitted the ends. When that happens, sometimes they can be polished out but often they are ruined. The same thing happened to the 120 inch telescope at Lick Observatory when Joe Wampler tried using it to laser range to the retroreflector Apollo 11 left on the moon. Exploding dust pitted the aluminization on the mirror.

Gel Leaking From cables
Q: We have several instances where gel from inside the fiber optic cable has leaked into the splice closure. I have seen some information about sealing the ends of cables so that this doesn’t happen but cannot find a specific method or procedure for this or what to use for a sealant. Is this something that is common practice for outside plant cables? The gel creates a mess and definitely makes reentry for additional splicing more difficult. If there is a way to prevent or minimize this I would like our technicians to start implementing it.
A: When you install the cable, after inserting the cable in the splice closure and/or the budder tubes in the splice trays, seal the end with silicone RTV adhesive. It needs some time to cure but that should prevent the gel leakage. Or next time, order dry water blocked cable which will not have this problem.

Single Fiber DWDM
Q: Can you do bidirectional links on a single fiber with DWDM? (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing)?
A: A company Called Edge Optical Solutions sells multiplexers for bi-directional DWDM on one fiber  by using adjacent wavelength channels for each direction. It is good to ~400km with coherent transceivers but cannot use fiber amplifiers for repeaters.

March 2022

Maximum Fusion Splice Loss
Q: We have set 0.4 dB as our max for all losses per splice and my counterparts argue that customer quality will not suffer with a 1.0db-1.5db loss at a splice. What do you think?
A: We would argue that the issue with high loss splices is more one of reliability. Most fusion splices of singlemode fiber are 0.05 to 0.1 dB A splice that has more than ~0.2dB loss probably has some inclusion (dirt that got on the fiber after cleaving) or an air bubble with means the splice is deficient in strength and may fail over time. If the network is operating at high power with WDM and fiber amplifiers, the inclusions or bubbles may produce heat which can cause failures. At very high speeds or using coherent communications over long lengths, it might affect dispersion.

Another Way Of Expressing dB?
Q: Just wondering what to think about presenting dBm as a percentage of power, using either a linear measurement or quadratic equation ?
I recently came across this article : []  I realise it's Wi-Fi signals here, but can you compare this to anything concerning optical loss or gain , given we're still using dB and dBm ?
A: I had to read this 3 or 4 times to get the idea. Basically he suggests converting dB, a nonlinear log scale, to a linear scale expressed in %. Following his steps (assuming I understand his system) , 100% = 0 dBm (1mw), 90% = -10dBm = 1/10mw  = 10% of the original signal, 80% = -20 dBm = 1/100 mW = 1% of the original signal.. So 80% = 1% of the original signal. And that’s where it seems a bit nonsensical. 70% would be 0.1% of the original signal,,,
We fail to see what this “new math” accomplishes.

OTDR AutoTest
Q: Would we say that OTDR 'Smart' test capabilities are commonplace on newer models or only on some manufacturers meters ?
Maybe it's additional software that can be thought of as an upgrade ?
A: Some form of “auto test” has been available on most OTDRs for 20 years or more. Early versions were not very good; they usually just made a test under some average test conditions and reported the results. Modern OTDRs use more powerful computing power to make several tests and determine which conditions are best for the fiber being tested. By optimizing the range, pulse width, number of averages, etc. it can usually produce fairly good results. We don’t think the cost of the OTDR is an issue for new ones because users expect all of them to have a good auto test function. As to whether an older unit could be upgraded, that would depend on the manufacturer and if they still support that product. An OTDR less than 5 years old should probably be able to be upgraded.

February 2022

MM Splice-on Connector On Singlemode Cable
I encountered a situation where a MM mechanical connector was used on a SM fiber and passed on an OTDR test. The client and I are interested in understanding how these connectors could have passed?
The joint between a multimode and singlemode fiber should have vrey high loss, ~17-20 dB, depending on the mode fill of the MM fiber. However the short length of the MM fiber, ~10mm, might not be enough to cause the modes to fill in the short fiber in the connector, resulting in relatively low loss.
Eric Pearson, one of the most knowledgeable people on connectors expressed this idea then tested it with 100m singlemode connected to a second singlemode cable. The second singlemode cable has an OM3 LC unicam connector, An EXFO ftb-400 OTDR indicates a 2.09 dB drop. That is way too much to pass a test but nowhere near the loss that could be expected from the MM/SM joint. See the OTDR trace above.

November/December 2021

Fiber Optic Color Codes Reference Chart
Q: Has anyone made a fiber optic pocket reference chart that has cable color orders, frequencies, or other commonly used info on it?
A: The FOA has a page on its Online Guide that covers color codes ( It is the most popular page in the FOA Guide! It works great with a smartphone.

Underground Utilities Location
Q: From an OSP engineer: Is there a resource for underground utilities that we could use on our engineering designs? I know some counties offer this info but is there a single resource for all?
A: If you are in the US, the Common Ground Alliance (  , is a resource for designers and contractors looking for information on underground utilities. Their “CGA Best Practices” ( is the best reference for damage prevention.
Otherwise, the local authorities and utilities are the best source. The department that issues permits is usually the place to start.
Even with that information, it is recommended that the contractor do their own search using underground locating equipment before digging.
You may find this page in the FOA Guide on underground cable construction useful. ( )

Q: What is the importance of reflectance and all the other numbers in installing and trouble shooting a fiber circuit?
A: Reflectance has always been a secondary issue to connection loss but has some important issues that need consideration. There are two basic issues with reflectance, affecting with the output of laser transmitters and creating background “noise” in a fiber link.
Reflectance can interact with the laser chip itself, causing laser transmitters nonlinearities or random fluctuations in the output. The background noise is a secondary issue, but can be seen in ghosts in an OTDR trace. The light bouncing back and forth in the fiber that causes ghosts will be added to the signal at the receiver end, adding noise to the actual signal. Both these effects are more significant on shorter links, for example FTTH or LANs using PONs (passive optical networks). We always recommend using APC (angled physical contact) connectors on short SM links. And most short SM networks do use APC connectors.
FOA tries to stick to the definition that reflectance is the light reflected from a connection but some others call it “return loss.” Return loss has been defined generally as the combination of reflectance and backscatter from the fiber, and that’s how OTDRs measure return loss. Standards vary in the definition sometimes.
Here is a FOA Guide page on reflectance that gives the basics and explains how it is tested.

More Q&A in the FOA FAQs Page  



The word on the "Dig Once" program is getting out - FOA is getting calls from cities asking us for information and advice. Here are some links:

The DoT page on the administration’s Executive Order:
From the Council of State governments:
From the city of San Francisco:
An article about Dakota County, MN:

And the one to download and hand out:
A “How To” Guide from The Global Connect Initiative:

Is There A Standard For Fiber Optic Installation?

Another question we get often is "Is there a standard for fiber optic installation." The answer is yes, but not from the usual standards groups you might expect. Over 20 years ago, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) asked FOA to help create a standard for installation. That standard, ANSI/NECA/FOA-301 has been updated three times already and is about ready for another update.

Unlike most of those groups who charge you a fortune for standards, FOA covers the cost so
ANSI/NECA/FOA-301 is available free from FOA.

                        301 Fiber Optic Installation Standard

Download your free copy of
ANSI/NECA/FOA-301 here (PDF)

Older questions are now available here.

/ FiberU

News and resources to help you learn more and stay updated.

Find a listing of all the FOA-Approved schools here.

Free online self-study programs on many fiber optics and cabling topics are available at Fiber U, FOA's online web-based training website.
Free online training at Fiber U

The FOA has >100 videos on videos 

FOA Network Of Approved Schools Continues To Grow

The need for more fiber optic networks to support broadband and wireless/5G networks has led to a strong demand for more trained and FOA-certified techs, and that has led to a demand for more training organizations. FOA has been adding new schools and certifying new instructors to meet the demand. Here are two new schools this month and more added recently.

Schools added recently:
Arrow For Engineering #774, Amman, Jordan
Team Fishel #399, Virginia

School 398, Telecom Tech, Colorado
School 396 Optconn, Boston, MA
School 395 Fiber Wizards (Knowledge on Demand LLC)
School 393, Carolina's Solution Group
School 394, Tri-County Career Center, Nelsonville, Ohio
School 388:  Global Com of Sterling, Virginia, USA
School 389. CWA-JATC Telecom Training Center, San Jose, CA
School 390  Northern Allied Communications, Nespelem, WA
School 391  Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, ID
School 392  Wallace Community College, Dothan, AL

Complete listing of FOA Approved Training Organizations

Need A Fiber Optic Course Onsite? Invite an FOA School To Come To You

FOA often gets inquiries from an organization that has personnel that needs training in fiber optics. Recent inquiries have included contractors, a manufacturer of high-reliability products using fiber optics and a cable manufacturer. In many cases, where there are several people needing training, FOA can recommend a FOA Approved School and Certified Instructor who will come to their location to teach a class. The advantage  is of course the savings in travel costs if the class comes to you, but it also offers the opportunity to customize the course to fit your needs, even use your equipment or work on your components, so the training is more relevant to those taking the class.

Contact FOA to discuss the idea of a custom, on-site class to see if it will better meet your needs.

FOA/Fiber U On-The-Job Training (OJT) Program

The FOA Fiber U OJT program combines online study at Fiber U with OJT with mentoring by experienced co-workers and their supervisor to help new employees develop into FOA-certified technicians in only one year.  Upon completion of this program, the trainee will be prepared to take the exam for the FOA CFOT (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) and/or CPCT (Certified Premises Cabling Technician), the most widely recognized fiber optic and premises cabling certifications in the industry.


The FOA Fiber U “OJT-To-Cert” program  includes both fiber optics and premises cabling (copper, fiber & wireless), so it covers techs working in both outside plant and premises jobs. 

Like other FOA programs, the OJT-To-Cert program is free. If you and/or your company is interested in the FOA OJT-To-Cert program, contact FOA.

To explain how OJT works and FOA's OJT-To-Cert program, FOA created a short 10 minute YouTube video that explains what OJT is, who uses it and how to use Fiber U to organize and enhance OJT for new employees and experienced workers too. Lecture 62: On The Job Training For Fiber Optics Using Fiber U     

FOA "Work-To-Cert" Program

Experience Plus Online Study At Fiber U = FOA Certification

More techs have become comfortable with online conferences, webinars and training. Many have discovered that they can become FOA Certified using their experience in fiber optics and study for the FOA certification exams online at Fiber U. Thousands of industry professionals have applied to the FOA directly for certification without the need for classroom training, based on their knowledge and skills developed working the field. Since FOA certifications are based on KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities), current techs already show the skills and abilities required through their field experience. FOA provides free online self-study courses at Fiber U for the knowledge part to prepare you for FOA certification exams which you can also take online.

If you are an experienced field tech interested in certification, and FOA is the internationally recognized certifying body for fiber optics, you can find out more about the FOA "Work to Cert" program here.

If you are already a CFOT, FOA also offers many specialist certifications you can obtain based on your experience as a field tech. See what's available at
Fiber U.

Fiber U "Basic Fiber Optics" Online Self-Study Course Now In Spanish

El curso de autoaprendizaje en línea "Fibra óptica básica" de Fiber U ahora en español

El sitio de aprendizaje en línea de FOA, Fiber U, tiene más de dos docenas de cursos de autoaprendizaje gratuitos sobre fibra óptica y cableado de instalaciones. Como era de esperar, el tema más popular es el curso "Fibra óptica básica", que se utiliza para iniciarse en la fibra óptica y como curso de preparación para realizar el examen de certificación FOA CFOT.

Ahora el curso básico de fibra óptica está disponible en español, utilizando el libro de texto FOA en español, la sección de la Guía en línea en español y la capacidad de YouTube para traducir subtítulos de video al español. El curso funciona exactamente como la versión en inglés con 10 lecciones, cada una con cuestionarios y una opción para tomar un examen de Certificado de finalización.

Para presentar el nuevo curso de español Fiber U, el examen Certificate of Completion es gratuito, así que dígaselo a sus contactos.

Curso Básico de Fibra Óptica de Fibra U en español.

New Fiber U Course: Fiber Characterization 

FOA has added a new course at Fiber U on Fiber Characterization. Fiber characterization is the process for testing long fiber cable plants for its ability for carrying high speed communications. With so many networks now operating at 100, 200, 400 or even 800 Gb/s, fiber characterization is important, especially on older fiber optic cable plants.The free Fiber U Fiber Characterization course is available in two forms, as a standalone Fiber U fiber Characterization Course with its own Fiber U Certificate of Completion and as a separate Lesson in the Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing course. This course is recommended for those studying for the FOA CFOS/FC Fiber Characterization certification.

Fiber U MiniCourses: Got An Hour Or Less? Learn Something New About Fiber Optics.

FOA has introduced a new type of Fiber U course, the MiniCourse, a free online course you could take in a short time, perhaps as you ate lunch at your desk or took a coffee break. The topics of these courses should explain what they are about, and these are all very important topics to fiber optic techs.

Fiber Optics In Communications  

How Optical Fiber Works 

Fiber Optic Network Restoration 

Fiber Optic Connector Identification

Fiber U Color Codes 

The Mysterious dB of Fiber Optics

Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius

Fiber Optic Link Loss And Power Budgets

Fiber Optic Connector Inspection And Cleaning

Fiber Optic Media Conversion  

Fiber Optic Cable Midspan Access  

Reading An OTDR Trace  

Reference Cables For Testing

Fiber Optic Attenuators

The courses have two components, video lectures and readings, that are complementary. As usual there is a self-test to allow you to check your comprehension. As with other Fiber U courses if you desire, you can take a short test for a Fiber U Certificate of Completion that costs
only $10.

All these free courses and many more are available at Fiber U.

What Fiber Techs Don't Know -

What We Learn From FOA Certification Tests

As FOA moves more testing over to our digital online testing system at ClassMarker, we have access to more data about our testing, including what questions and topics on the tests are answered incorrectly most often. Having this data gives us an opportunity to evaluate the questions and how they are stated, but more importantly it allow us to help our instructors teach the subjects and us to change our curriculum and online courses to emphasize these particular topics. These are some of the topics that we have noticed are answered incorrectly more often in FOA and Fiber U tests.

Most of the questions missed are on testing.

1. OTDRs - particularly what information is in the OTDR trace.

2. The difference between dB and dBm

3. Loss budgets - both the concepts and doing the math

4. Insertion loss testing - single-ended or double ended for testing patchcords or cable plants, how to set 0dB references

5. Units of measure - fiber is measured in microns, wavelengths in nanometers, etc.

At FOA, we're working to add Fiber U MiniCourses on these topics and working with our schools to emphasize these topics in their classes.

If you are going to be taking a FOA certification course or test in the near future, these topics should be on your final exam study list.

What We Learn From Hands On Labs
We learn about students performance in hands-on labs from the feedback of our instructors and our own experiences too. One big problem is the use of hand tools. Growing up today, you learn how to use keyboards, mouses and touch screens, but decades ago, you also learned how to use basic hand tools. This is big enough of a problem that we're considering adding some video lessons on basic hand tools to prepare students for cable prep, termination and splicing that require the use of hand tools.

FOA Guide "Basics Of Fiber Optics" Now Available Online in Portuguese (6/2020)

                            Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book

FOA has now translated the Basics of Fiber Optics textbook in our Online Guide into Portuguese, joining Spanish and French translations. For those speaking Portuguese, we have the technical information and for schools we also have curriculum available.

Here is the FOA Guide in Portuguese, Spanish and French translations.

Time To Learn - Online

Some schools have been closed during the pandemic, so FOA has been working with them to create new online learning experiences that can in some cases lead to certification online. FOA certifications are still based on the KSAs - knowledge from the classroom, skills from the labs and abilities judged by instructors or proven by actual experience.

Much of what we're doing benefits from the capabilities of "Zoom." Others have created videoconferencing apps, but none work so well, especially with limited bandwidth. We've seen remote labs that have an instructor showing students how to use the tools they were sent then watching them duplicate their actions. We have worked out methods to use Zoom to proctor FOA's online certification exams.

Blended Learning
While most FOA schools have suspended in-person training during this period, some are offering a "blended learning" option. That means that students sign up for a FOA certification course, take the classroom sessions on Fiber U with the assistance of a FOA certified instructor. Now online instruction can include reviewing the labs using the
Fiber U Basic Skills Labs, then when it's possible to attend classes at the school, complete the hands-on labs and take the FOA certification exam.

Offline Fiber U
FOA has also created offline Fiber U modules to allow students with poor or limited Internet access to use the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics and Premises Cabling programs without Internet access. Contact FOA for information on using this option.

Online Remote Labs
Alternatively, some schools are experimenting with "remote labs," where the students get sent tool kits and components and labs are conducted by videoconferencing. Before the labs, the students may watch demos by their instructor on videoconferencing and/or review the relevant "virtual hands-on" lessons in the Fiber U
Fiber Optics Basic Skills Labs  so they will already know the steps in the exercises.
And Fiber U has the new Fiber U DIY Basic Skills Lab lesson with directions on how to purchase inexpensive tools online and use them to learn basic fiber optic skills. Videoconferencing allows the instructor to remotely monitor their work and provide help as needed. Contact the FOA for more information.

FOA Zoom Exam Proctoring

Online Certification Testing
FOA has all its certification tests available online, both for use by our schools and by our direct "Work to Cert" applicants. All FOA certification tests require a proctor to oversee the applicant taking the exam. In this time of social distancing, getting a proctor can be difficult, so FOA now has procedures for online proctors administering the exam.
Contact the FOA for more information.
OJT - On-The-Job-Training
Many novices get a job and learn on the job. They usually have an experienced tech who helps them gain the knowledge and  learn the skills they need to perform their job. Thinking about this in relation to the 
FOA KSAs, the knowledge, skills and abilities needed by a fiber optic tech,  the tech will learn skills but not the basic knowledge that helps them understand the processes involved. FOA can offer help here with our
FOA's OJT-to-Cert Program, using our Fiber U online self-study programs. While the tech learns on the job, they become a Fiber U trainee, getting the knowledge they need, while working under their "mentor" at work. This is particularly good for contracting companies who need techs but do not have the usual training courses available. Interested in OJT programs? Click on the link below or contact FOA for more information.

FOA's OJT-to-Cert Program

FOA offers free online self-study programs at Fiber U. Many users are preparing for FOA certification programs - taking courses at our schools or using the "Work-to-Cert" program. Some of our schools are requiring Fiber U programs as prerequisites for their classroom courses so they can spend more time on hands-on activities.

FOA School Offers Toolkit With Online Training

Slayton tool

Slayton Solutions (FOA Approved School #156) is offering a simple fiber optic tool kit that includes a 29-piece set of fiber optic tools and a power meter along with training videos and online instruction for only $499. 29 Piece Kit includes all tools and devices a technician needs to install fiber optic connectors and test optical power.  Information on the kit is available on YouTube. You can contact them for more information at or

/ Resources


More New FOA Video Lectures On YouTube

Did you know YouTube will close caption videos in many languages? Here are directions.

FOA YouTube Video Describes On-The-Job Training (OJT) 

Lecture 62: On The Job Training For Fiber Optics Using Fiber U
To explain How OJT works and FOA's OJT-To-Cert program, FOA created a short 10 minute YouTube video that explains what OJT is, who uses it and how to use Fiber U to organize and enhance OJT for new employees and experienced workers too.

More New Videos Including FTTH Series
As part of developing the new Fiber U MiniCourses, we added several new YouTube videos:

Lecture 56 explains the issues of cable bend radius limitations, typical cable specifications and how to gage the proper radius or diameter when installing or storing cable. Lecture 57 covers problems with dirty connectors and how to inspect and clean them.

4 New Lectures on FTTH - #63-66  Plus #70 on Rural Broadband

New Lecture on Fiber Optics at Electrical Utilities - #67

FOA Lecture 51 Fiber Optic Restoration Part 1 - Causes of Damage To The Network  
FOA Lecture 52 Fiber Optic Restoration Part 2 - Planning For Restoration 
FOA Lecture 53 Fiber Optic Restoration Part 3 - Troubleshooting And Repair
FOA Lecture 54 Fiber Optic Connector Identification - New and old
FOA Lecture 55 The Mysterious dB of Fiber Optics. - Understanding dB 
FOA Lecture 56 Fiber Optic Cable - Bend Radius -  Important for Installers to Understand
FOA Lecture 57 Fiber Optic Connector Inspection and Cleaning -  Most Connection Problems Are Caused By Dirty Connectors
FOA Lecture 58 Fiber Optic Media Conversion  - Copper To Fiber Made Easy
FOA Lecture 59 Fiber Optic Cable Midspan Access   - How to drop fibers from a cable with minimal splicing
FOA Lecture 60 How Fiber Works   - Animated explanations of how fiber transmits light
FOA Lecture 61 Fiber Optic Color Codes    
FTTH Series

Like all our YouTube lectures, they are all short and easy to understand.

Did you know YouTube will close caption videos in many languages?

Sign in with Google to get translations for closed captioning. Click on the settings icon (red arrow.) Choose "Subtitles".  English is the default language. Click on the arrow after "English (auto-generated) >". In the new window click on "Auto-translate" and choose the language you want. 

FOA Loss Budget Calculator On A Web Page 5/2020

FOA has written many articles about loss budgets, something everyone involved in fiber optics needs to know and needs to know how to calculate. We recently discovered how to get a spreadsheet ported to a Web page, so we created this web page that calculates loss budgets. We have an iOS loss budget app, but with this web page, you can calculate loss budgets from any device, smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer that has web browsing capability.

FOA Loss Budget Calculator 

Bookmark this page (especially on your smartphone): FOA Loss Budget Calculator Online

                      Guide We are continually updating the Online Reference Guide to keep up with changes in the industry and adding lots of new pages of technical information. When you go to the FOA Guide Table of Contents to see the latest updates - look for New.

Recent updates:

FTTH Updates: Added a section on FTTH Network Design, updated Architecture and PONs (10G)
Color Codes For Fiber Optics  

Fiber Optic Projects - the FOA Guide to projects from concept to operation

Coherent Communications Systems in the FOA Guide.

Go to  The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

FOA Reference Books


NEW: FOA's FTTH Handbook:
We've gathered all our information on FTTH from the FOA Guide and past issues of the FOA Newsletter and edited it into a 112 page "FTTH Handbook." We even added a section on planning and managing FTTH Projects.
The Fiber Optic Association Fiber To The Home Handbook is available from Amazon in print and Kindle editions.

FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book FOA
                        text in Spanish FOA Text in French FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng
                          book  FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics
                          book   FOA
                        Reference Guide to Fiber Optic OSP Construction
                        book  FOA
                        Reference Guide to Fiber Optics Design book FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics Testing
                        book  FOA
                        Reference Guide to Fiber Optic OSP Construction
Fiber Optics (4 languages), Premises Cabling, OSP fiber and construction, Network Design, Testing and FTTH

   The FOA has it's own reference books for everyone working in fiber optics - contractors, installers and end users as well as for use as textbooks in classes at educational institutions. They are available as printed books or Kindle at much lower prices than most textbooks since we self-publish and sell online, cutting out the middlemen. Click on the book images for more information. The Reference Guide To Fiber Optics is also available in Spanish and French (print and online) and Portuguese (online only.)

Click on any book for more information about it.

FOA has reprinted

Lennie Lightwave
Lennie Lightwave's Guide" on its 25th anniversary in a special print edition.
Lennie and Uncle Ted's Guides are online or as free iBooks on iTunes.
                        Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics   Uncle
                        Ted's Guide to Premises Cablling
Click on any of the books to learn more.

Fiber Optic Safety Poster to download and print

Resources For Teachers In K-12 And Technical Schools
Teachers in all grades can introduce their students to fiber optic technology with some simple demonstrations. FOA has created a page for STEM or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) teachers with materials appropriate to their classes. Fiber Optic Resources For Teachers.



On Safety

FOA considers safety an integral part of all our programs, curriculum materials and technical materials. We start all our textbooks and their online versions with a section on safety in the first chapter, like this: Before we get started - Safety First!
There are pages on the FOA Guide on Safety procedures Including Eye Safety  and.
Digging Safely 

And a YouTube lecture: FOA Lecture 2: Safety When Working With Fiber Optics
In our OSP Construction Section, these pages cover many safety issues including those related to the construction of the cable plant: Project Preparation And Guidelines, Underground Cable Construction, Underground Cable Installation and Aerial Cable Installation.
There is even a safety poster for the fiber activities: PDF Safety Rules For Fiber Optics
The FOA is concerned about safety!

There is a toll-free "call before you dig" number in the USA: Dial 811

See for more information

The Common Ground Alliance has an excellent "Best Practices Guide" online

The US Department of Transportation has a website called "National Pipeline Mapping System" that allows one to search for buried pipelines.   

Why We Warn You To Be Careful About Fiber Shards
fiber in
Photo courtesy  Brian Brandstetter,  Mississauga Training Consultantcy

Safety Leader Magazine

Safety Leader

Safety Leader, a new quarterly magazine, informs and educates electrical contractors on safety from various angles—electrical, workplace, PPE, regulations, leadership, line work, NFPA 70E, and more. Safety Leader is bundled with ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR in February, May, August and November. To receive Safety Leader subscribe to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine here or subscribe to the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR newsletter here.

2022 Conference On Damage Prevention In Phoenix
Excavation Safety Conference

Global Excavation Safety Conference

Phoenix AZ

March 1-3, 2022


The magazine, dp-Pro, sponsor of the conference, has also published it's latest issue with an article by FOA on "New Construction Techniques in Fiber Optics" and a overview of the FOA. You can read the magazine here.

When You Bury Marker Tape, Bury One That Will Work (July 2021)


Signaltape® provides a visual warning by ensuring tape is brought to the surface, alerting the operator to the presence of a buried utility. It includes a 3,000-lb. tensile strength aramid fiber membrane, which ensures the tape is pulled to the surface to alert the excavation crew. Signaltape comes in two sizes: 12″ x 1000′ or 6″ x 1000′.

 Best Practices Guide For Underground Construction
                      Practices - CGA

We assume you are familiar with the "One Call" and "Call Before You Dig" (811) program, but are you also familiar "Click Before You" and with the people behind it - the Common Ground Alliance and their Best Practices website?

Officially formed in 2000, the CGA represents a continuation of the damage prevention efforts embodied by the Common Ground Study. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and completed in 1999, this Study represents the collaborative work of 160 industry professionals who identified best practices relating to damage prevention. Any best practice or program endorsed by the CGA comes with consensus support from experts representing the following stakeholder groups: Excavators, Locators, Road Builders, Electric, Telecommunications, Oil, Gas Distribution, Gas Transmission, Railroad, One Call, Public Works, Equipment Manufacturing, State Regulators, Insurance, Emergency Services and Engineering/Design.

Read the CGA Best Practices Guide here.

Here are all the CGA resources for damage prevention.

The US Department of Transportation has a website called "National Pipeline Mapping System" that allows one to search for buried pipelines.  

FOA Corporate Members - Products & Services

List of corporate member information provided by FOA corporate members listed on the FOA website.


About The FOA

Contact Us: or email <>

FOA on LinkedIn

FOA has a company page and four LinkedIn Groups

FOA - official company page on LinkedIn
FOA - covers FOA, technology and jobs in the fiber optic marketplace

FOA Fiber Optic Training - open to all, covers fiber optic technology and training topics

Grupo de La Asociación de Fibra Óptica FOA (Español)  

What is The FOA? 

The FOA is a, international non-profit educational association chartered to promote professionalism in fiber optics through education, certification and standards. 

Founded in 1995 by a dozen prominent fiber optics trainers and  leaders from education, 
industry and government as a professional society for fiber optics and a source of independent certification, the FOA has grown to now being involved in numerous activities to educate the world about fiber optics and certify the workers who design, build and operate the world's fiber optic networks.

Read More  

FOA History  

FOA Timeline of Fiber Optics  

FOA was 25 years old July 2020 - Read about FOA's history

Learn More About FOA's History.

Contact Us
The Fiber Optic Association Inc. or email <>

The FOA Home Page

FOA Guide
Want to know more about fiber optics? Study for FOA certifications? Free Self-Study Programs are on "Fiber U®." Looking for specific information? Here's the largest technical reference on the web: The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

Free online self-study programs on many fiber optics and cabling topics are available at Fiber U, FOA's online web-based training website.


Contact Us
The Fiber Optic Association Inc. or email <>
Phone: 1-760-451-3655

The FOA Home Page

Fiber Optic Timeline  

(C)1999-2022, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

 FOA Logo Merchandise

New FOA Swag! Shirts, Caps, Stickers, Cups, etc.
FOA T Shirt
The FOA has created a store on offering lots of new logo merchandise. It has lots of versions of shirts and other merchandise with "FOA," "Fiber U," "Lennie Lightwave" designs and more so you should find something just for you! See FOA on Zazzle.

Your Name, CFOT® - It pays to advertise!

The FOA encourages CFOTs to use the logo on their business cards, letterhead, truck or van, etc. and provides logo files 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!

Contact FOA at to get logos in file format for your use.

Privacy Policy (for the EU GDPR): The FOA does not use cookies or any other web tricks to gather information on visitors to our website, nor do we allow commercial advertising. Our website hosts may gather traffic statistics for the visitors to our website and our online testing service, ClassMarker, maintains statistics of test results. We do not release or misuse any information on any of our members except we will confirm FOA certifications and Fiber U certificates of completion when requested by appropriate persons such as employers or personnel services.
Read the complete FOA Privacy Policy here.