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FeaturesHow To Build Rural Broadband
New FOA Video - Fiber At Electrical Utilities
Cost of Rural FTTH
Wind damage To Aerial Cables
FOA School Network Grows
FOA FTTH Handbook a "Best Seller"
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Google Fiber Drops TV
Why Overlash Aerial Cables?
New Fiber Magazine in Spanish
How Much Does A Cable Installer Earn?
Can Facebook Disrupt Wireless?
Market Tape That Works
Lightwave is Back
New Submarine Cable Map
100G Coherent PONs
Properly Managed Fiber Pedestal
What Does "Telephone Symbol" Mean?
Are 850 LEDs Extinct?
Loss Budget Calculator
Worth Reading Lots of interesting articles
Q&A Questions from our readers
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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.
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Free online self-study programs on many fiber optics and cabling topics are available at Fiber U, FOA's online web-based training website.
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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.
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SPECIAL OFFER - 1/3 Off Your Certification Renewal Cost
In the near future, there will be a requirement for continuing education to renew your FOA certifications. FOA is testing an option for renewals where you take a short Fiber U online course.
If you would like to help FOA test this option, you can save 1/3 the cost of your renewal. Go here to take the Fiber U CFOT Renewal Course:
FOA Newsletter - Features
How To Build Rural Broadband, Learning From History
can spend hours reading about the lack of broadband in
rural America. Here are two recent examples from the FCC
Verge. But while 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, FOA has worked with
dozens of groups wanting to build rural broadband and
documented several DIY
FTTH systems in the FOA Guide. We have also
documented in the FOA Newsletter (June
2021) ways that make rural broadband more feasible
using new technologies like remote OLTs for GPON networks.
As we continue to research rural broadband strategies and technologies, we continue to work on other projects. One of those projects involves assisting EPRI (the Electric Power Research Institute, the electrical utilities "Bell Labs" or "Telcordia") with their strategic plans for fiber optics in their networks. It occurred to us that installing rural fiber networks was similar to the development of rural electrical networks in America a century ago.
we began researching the electrification of rural America.
In our research, we found a most interesting article
Electrification" by Robert T. Beall, an economist at
the US Department of Agriculture in the 1940 USDA Yearbook
of Agriculture on the USDA website. Reading this
(and we highly recommend you read it too), it becomes
obvious that rural electrification and rural broadband
build-out have many similarities.
Rural Electrical Cables From the 1940 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture
to the Beall article, in 1925 only 3.2% of America’s 6.3
million farms had electricity. Ten years later, it had
only grown to 10.9%, in part due to the depression but
also due to the inherent problem with rural areas,
economics. Beall’s article quotes a report on the problem.
then comments: Inasmuch as the private utility companies
own and control well over 90 percent of the electric-power
industry in the United States, the extension of lines into
rural areas prior to 1935 depended primarily on the
willingness of these companies to serve farmers. Sound
the industry felt no responsibility to find out whether
construction in rural areas might not be simpler and less
expensive than that in urban centers and therefore require
less capital investment per farm.
As has already been indicated, the principal type of borrower of R.E.A. funds is the cooperative, nonprofit association of rural residents organized for the specific purpose of constructing and operating a rural electric system. Although this type of organization for the distribution of electric power in rural areas has been widely used in certain foreign countries, notably Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, it was almost unknown in the United States until the establishment of the Government's rural-electrification program.
Coops also learned how to lower costs for building
networks by simplifying aerial cable systems and using
long-span construction. Some of their techniques allowed
building networks at less than half the cost of
traditional urban/suburban networks.
go back and reread the last half-dozen paragraphs,
replacing "electrical" with "broadband." Uncanny, isn't
it? Even more so now that the current US administration
has included $50 billion for broadband expansion in the
current infrastructure bill.
REA (now RUS - Rural Utilities Service) still exists and has expanded its scope to include telecommunications and water. FOA has been on conference programs with RUS people and have found they know the problem and understand that fiber is the solution.
of the solution depends on the same technical changes
suggested for rural electrification, not copying what
works in urban areas but rethinking FTTH technology for
rural areas, for example using ADSS cable along power
lines with remote OLTs and sharing fibers with other
communications users, including the electrical coops
themselves , to reduce the costs of building FTTH.
course, being a large government program, there are going
to be problems making sure the infrastructure bill money
goes to the right places. The last try at funding rural
broadband, RDOF (Rural Digital Opportunity Fund), appears
to have approved funding to a number of questionable
projects. In a recent FCC press release (FCC
Makes Available Over 311 Million For Broadband in 36
States, While Taking Steps To Clean Up The RDOF Program)
some of those questionable projects were discussed.
As a result of today’s announcement, 48 broadband providers will bring 1 Gbps broadband speeds to nearly 200,000 homes and businesses over the next 10 years.
At the same time, the FCC also took steps to clean up the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program. In light of complaints that the program was poised to fund broadband to parking lots and well-served urban areas, the FCC sent letters to 197 winning bidders. The letters offer providers an opportunity to withdraw their funding requests from those places already with service or where significant questions of waste have been raised.
"Rural Electrification" is fascinating reading, covering the development of rural electrical coops. We recommend it highly, especially for rural groups.
FOA has found that many people in the industry are unfamiliar with how utilities use fiber optics, so we created a new YouTube Lecture on the subject.
New FOA YouTube Lecture: Fiber Optics At Electrical UtilitiesElectrical utilities were early adopters of fiber optics, not far behind the telcos. The advantages of fiber optics for long distance networks and high speed data were important, but its immunity to electrical interference meant that fiber optic cables could be installed near high voltage electrical wires without problems. It even allowed creating electrical conductors with fiber optics in the center - OPGW, optical fiber ground wire.
Lecture 67 Fiber Optics At Electrical Utilities
This new FOA video covers the applications of fiber optics at electrical utilities, looks at the various ways they mix communications on fiber with power transmission and distribution, and talks about the role of electrical utilities in delivering broadband, especially to rural areas.
Did you know YouTube can close caption videos in many languages? Here are directions.
What Does It Cost To Connect A Rural Customer With FIber?
An article about Shenandoah Telecommunications Company in Light Reading provides some useful data on this topic. In the article is a graphic showing Shentel's plans for broadband for customers in their Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania territory.
In a table they quote prices:
The fiber cost in similar to other rural networks FOA knows. This is not a bad place to begin when starting to plan an FTTH project.
Damage To Aerial Cables In St. Louis Creates High Voltage
Google Fiber Drops TV Service In Austin and Atlanta, Concentrates on Internet
Google Fiber is dropping its TV service in Austin, saying what many in the entertainment industry already know, that people are moving to streaming services and away from traditional TV packages with hundreds of channels few subscribers ever watch. Google Fiber TV services will end in Austin and Atlanta by Nov. 30. The company said it will provide affected customers will whole-home WiFi with Google WiFi, streaming capabilities through Chromecast with Google TV, and help in transitioning to streaming services of their choosing.
Read more in the Austin American-Statesman
It seems if you were watching closely, you would have known this 18 months ago when Google announced it was dropping TV services on the Google Fiber website. In the same announcement, they said they would begin offering fuboTV streaming service as an option to those signing up for Google Fiber.
100G Coherent PON networks? Read more in Tech below.
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.
First Issue Todo Fibra Optica
José Manuel Enriquez Mora, Editor
Todo Fibra Optica LLC
+52 222 302 8224
Much Does A Cable Installer Earn? What Does A Service Call
addition, the power budget of a coherent link is such that
the length of fiber supported could reach 80km, expanding
the geographic reach of the PON architecture.
Obviously no individual FTTH subscriber needs 100G, but 100G allows for multiplexing 40 X GPON channels, 10 X 10XGS PON channels or other combinations. Typical FTTH subscribers need only GPON, MDUs and business users could get 10GPON and other bandwidths could be allocated for additional networks like small cell wireless.
80kn reach might make rural PONs more feasible,
maybe in conjunction with the remote OLTs we described in
the June FOA Newsletter.
you think about it, coherent PONs make a lot of sense and
are an obvious step in the development of fiber optic
"Communications systems and equipment installed in buildings must comply with the specific rules given in Chapter 8 of the NEC . Even though these systems typically operate at lower energy levels, improper grounding and bonding can result in severe consequences for equipment and property and present shock hazards. Article 770 and the Chapter 8 articles of the NEC provide unique and specific grounding and bonding requirements for communications system installations."
installing low voltage systems needs to know about
grounding and bonding and Michael's article is an
excellent introduction to the topic.
From California’s Sugar Fire - The Atlantic.
Look at photo #7 and imagine your aerial cable under those
Lightwave Magazine is back after many years as only a online newsletter.To Fill Millions of Open Jobs, Many Workers Need More Than Skills (NYTimes) Helping people land good jobs with career paths takes more than skills training, labor experts say. Coaching, mentoring and other assistance are also needed.
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.
much fiber optic cable is manufactured each year?
CRU Reports - unsurprisingly China is by far the largest
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,”
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.
job market is hot. So why are half of U.S. grads
Here is the FOA Guide in Portuguese, Spanish and French translations.
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 email@example.com or https://www.fiberopticsinstitute.com
you know YouTube will close caption videos in many
languages? Here are directions.
There is a toll-free "call before you dig" number in the USA: Dial 811
See www.call811.com for more information
Common Ground Alliance has an excellent "Best
Practices Guide" online
Global Excavation Safety Conference
March 1-3, 2022
Learn More About FOA's History.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get logos in file format for your use.
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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