May, 2007

In This Issue
Do Fiber Networks Require Maintenance?
FTTx Summit Scheduled in New England in June-Sign Up Now!
Google TiSP for Real?
Home Tech - Needed with broadband connections
Free Tech Downloads, including a complete fiber optic testing textbook From JDSU
Looking For a Fiber Optic Installer?
Use the FOA Installer Database Free!
CFOTs - Register Now On The FOA Searchable Database of Installers, Contractors and Consultants. Go to the FOA Installer Database to register.
New Tech Topics: Why are there 4 ways (maybe 5) to test fiber optic cables? (PDF) How do you clean connections?
Tech Puzzler - test your fiber knowledge!
Jobs: What is a fiber optic technician? Help the US Department of Labor to define it.
Looking For Jobs - several this month. See Below
FTTx Jobs: Verizon offers lots of opportunities, ADC needs CO Techs.

NEW: Sign up for the new FOA eMail Newsletter

The Archives

Read Previous Issues: 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

Do Fiber Networks Require Maintenance?
A recent article on network maintenance made these suggestions: For fiber optic cabling maintenance, inspect the connectors and cables, do an end face inspection (min. 400X scope), clean the connector end face, clean and inspect the coupler sleeve (coupler microscope), complete periodic insertion loss tests, perform an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) test (reference to original acceptance trace), do a signal output test on active components checking for degradation, remove dust from cabinets or patch panels, and check pressure of splice cases.
We must disagree for several reasons:

1. Most harm to fiber optic systems is done by messing with them. Even with care and careful, experienced techs, it's possible to damage connectors or cables when mating/unmating or moving them around.

a. It's easy to get dirt into mating adapters or on connectors whenever they are exposed to the air - why risk it?

b. Mating and unmating may wear the interface (both endface rubbing against the mating connector and the outside of the ferrule scraping materials off the mating adapter - especially bad with cheap plastic alignment bushings) and cause higher loss.

c. A 400X microscope will concentrate power in a cable into the eye, potentially harmful with 850 nm VCSELs used in >gigabit networks. Besides 400X is too high a magnification for inspection of anything but a factory-polished singlemode connector.

d. Such inspection procedures require bringing the network down, unacceptable in almost every instance. Guaranteed to get you in trouble with the network manager.
How do you maintain a fiber network properly - LEAVE IT ALONE!

FOA FTTx Summit Meeting Coming To Boston June 12 , 2007
Download the form (PDF) and sign up now!
The FOA, responding to industry needs to provide more trained techs for FTTx instalations, will be doing East Coast versions of our very successful FTTx Summit Meetings aimed at contractors, installers, teachers and vendors. Following up on the highly successful "Fiber To The Home" Summit Meeting this January at LA Trade Technical College in Los Angeles, The FOA has scheduled Summit meetings in New England in June.

The FOA FTTx Summit is aimed at installers, contractors and instructors who want to know more about FTTx technology, training and job opportunities. Presentations and displays by industry leaders and FTTx implementers/employers will allow attendees to learn from and meet the people involved.

Participating in the NE meetings will be Verizon, discussing FiOS FTTP technology, implementation and job opportunities.
Corning and JDSU will discuss FTTx markets and technology, as will other vendors including (tentatively) OFS, AFL and ADC.
The FOA will discuss FTTx training, certification and job opportunities.

On June 12, we'll be the guests of New Hampshire Technical College at Pease near Portsmouth, NH, as the guests of Dave Miller who teaches the FOA program at the college.

FOA FTTx Summit meetings will be full day meetings with lunch provided. Threre are no fees to attend.

Full details on the meetings and signup forms will be posted online on the FOA website ( ) or those interested may sign up for the FOA email newsletter list ( ) to be notified.

Want To Learn More About FTTx?
The FOA has created a special FTTx resources section of our website with a FTTx links page with lots of links to news, market reports, technical articles and vendor technical and product information. Here is a great place to start learning more about FTTx.
FOA's CFxT FTTx Certification Program Explained
Read the Broadband Properties article about the FOA FTTx certification program.

Fiber Fest - May 21, 2007

FiberFest is a one-day tabletop trade show of fiberoptic products focusing on the regional markets of New England.  Exhibits include a wide range of OEM and end-user products including fiber optic connectors, active & passive components, fiber & cable; CATV equipment, imaging fiber optics, connector polishing and inspection equipment, test equipment, and design and installation services. The markets addressed include OEM, medical, CATV, telecom, datacom, broadcasting, Internet, security, education, sensors, and MIL-Aero. The one-day event also includes a Symposium covering the latest advances in fiberoptic technologies, equipment and, networks. Symposium focus this year is "The Optical Future for Broadband Access: Progress and Perspectives."

Thanks to all our readers who wrote to ask if Google TISP was real or to tell us it was a joke!

Well, remember it was April 1 when they announced it!

Google Enters Broadband Home Connection Market

With Free FTTT* Offering Called Google TiSP !

On April 1, Google announced their new, free broadband service that connects to an in home wireless router with a optical fiber that users can install themselves! No more waiting for the telco to bring fiber to your home, no expensive sign-up costs, no long term contracts. This is one of the biggest FTTx developments this month. Google must be "flushed" with pride!

Be sure to read the installation instructions. PR too.


Home Tech

Once a home has a broadband connection, which we hope is fiber to the home, but could be DSL or Cable Modem, the usage of all that bandwidth depends on distribution within the home. The in-home connections can be UTP or Coax copper, wireless or fiber. But architects and home builders must learn how to build homes to take advantage of broadband connections. The FOA, in conjunction with the Structured Cabling Association, have started working with home builders to bring them up to speed. You can see the first tutorial we have jointly developed at the SCA website.


Download This!
There are tons of technical application notes and videos on the web, and occasionally we recommend some you should download. The JDSU fiber testing guide is really worthwhile, as are the ADC FTTx book and Westover video on fiber inspection and cleaning, linked below.
JDSU Testing Book
JDSU offers a free download of their Testing Guide from the Lightwave website. This is one great book which explains some basic fiber technology, but the real value is the last half which deals with OTDR testing. Not only does it give the usual info, but it covers important topics like measurement uncertainties and anomolies like ghosts and gainers.
I was in the testing business for 20+ years at Fotec and think this book is one of the best fiber optic testing texts available. It's complete but comprehenisble! I used to believe that premises techs did not need OTDR training, but now OTDR manufacturers are pushing their use in premises networks. Unfortunately, the limitations of OTDRs in premises applications can cause extreme problems for those who are not aware of their limitations. So knowing hows OTDRs work is essential information to every tech. 
Download yourself a copy and read it!
Westover Application Notes And Cleaning Video
Westover has several application notes on inspecting and cleaning fiber optic connectors. The video is a big file (50+MB) but a good tutorial.
Download page:
ADC's Book On FTTx
ADC has an excellend book on FTTx. Here is a link to request a copy:

Now In Spanish: FOA Textbook & Text For FOA Advanced Certifications
The FOA's textbook, The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, is used by our approved schools around the world to teach fiber optics. Book Details: Manual Del Technico De Fibra Optica, Published by Thomson Delmar Learning, ISBN 1-4180-6121-2
If you are getting started in fiber optics and Spanish is your native language, you can download an introduction to fiber optics in Spanish here.
Eric Pearson's book that is used for the CFOS/I reference book, Successful Fiber Optic Installation, is also now available in Spanish.
Contact the FOA for more information.

NEW-FOA Technical Bulletins/Tech Topics
Testing Update
Are there really 5 different ways to test optical fiber cabling after installation? Why so many? How do the measurements - and more importantly the measurement results - differ? What are the advanteages and disadvantages of each method?
Why are there 4 ways (maybe 5) to test fiber optic cables?
Do OTDRs and OLTS tests give the same results?
Technical Bulletins
How do you design and manufacture fiber optic systems? Choose and install one to serve your communications needs? Troubleshoot problems? The FOA Fiber Optic Technical Bulletins will provide step-by-step guidelines to help you. All are PDF files you can download, print and use.
Designing and manufacturing fiber optic communications products for manufacturers.
Choosing, installing and using fiber optic producst for users.
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communcations systems.
New Tech Topics
Updated link specs for fiber optic networks - now includes 10G Ethernet.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on General Topics and Testing
Fiber Or Copper? Making decisions, overview and LANs
How do you clean connections?


Bob Ballard of FOA-Approved School BDI Datalink has a neat website with some good technical content. Be sure to pay particular attention to these pages: and

Like Good Technical Videos? Try NECA/IBEW/JATC's Electric TV.

Assist In Defining What A "Fiber Optic Technician" Is

Ron Wandscher from Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in Raleigh, North Carolina. RTI, a non-profit international social research organization, has been retained by the United States Department of Labor (OMB # 1205-0421) to assist them with the O*NET Data Collection Program. O*NET stands for Occupational Information Network and is a database accessible by the public via the internet ( at no cost, which provides information about the skills, tasks, work context, and knowledge requirements of 900+ occupations in the United States. It replaces the 70-year old Dictionary of Occupational Titles as the nation's primary source of occupational information. The U.S. Department of Labor believes the maintenance of this database plays an integral role in assuring the vitality of the American economy. You may obtain more information about this program by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor,s website at

The objective of the O*NET program is to obtain representative samples of workers in each of these 900+ occupations and have them complete brief, objective questionnaires which will be used to populate this database with current and essential information. I am contacting The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) because our focus is now on the occupations of "Photonics Engineers and Photonics Technicians". I am hoping your organization can identify experts in these occupations among your membership.

In order to insure that this occupation is accurately represented within the O*NET database, your organization has been identified as one of the organizations in the United States that might have these occupations amongst your members. As such, I would like to speak with you to gauge the extent to which your organization is able to assist with this important program.

Thank you for your assistance.

Ron Wandscher
Business Liaison
RTI International
O*NET Data Collection Program / USDOL
Toll Free: 877-233-7348, ext. 108
"Ron Wandscher" <>

Job Openings
ADC Looking For CO Techs
DC Power Installers and Equipment Installer Level III Candidates. We are looking for individuals who have proven success working in a Central Office environment. Candidates should have the ability to lead others and to travel extensively.
We are currently looking for a Central Office Equipment Installer, level III for Newark, N.J and surrounding areas.
Equipment Installers are responsible for the installation of equipment used in voice, video, fiber optics and data telecommunications networks. Level III Installers also, analyze, plan, layout and assign installation activity to other installation personnel. Act as subject matter expert on provisioning, activating and testing ADC and OEM electronic equipment.

We are currently looking for DC Power Equipment Installers, Level IV to cover installation projects in the Northeastern part of the country. DC Power Equipment Installers are responsible for the installation of equipment such as batteries, rectifiers, PBD's, BDFB's and associated infrastructure used in telecommunications networks. Analyze, plan, layout and assign installation activity to other installation personnel. Act as subject matter expert on provisioning, activating and testing 24 and 48 volt DC electronic equipment. Candidates should have experience programming DGU(s), LMS(s), Milleniums, Galaxy(s)s, etc.
Candidates are invited to post their resumes on our web site, Once there, Candidates can view open jobs and apply to them by clicking on the "careers" link. 
Kevin Geathers,
Sr. Staffing Specialist
ADC Telecommunications
1-800-833-8843 x 6317

Techs For Work In Iraq
Contact Juan Stewart <>

Verizon: Fiber Network Field Technician (Outside Field Technician)
Openings in the following areas: CA, TX, WA, OR, VA, MA, NJ, RI
Meet Verizon FTTx Recruiters At The FOA FTTx Summits in New England and Philadelphia.

Take your career to new heights at a company that's a leader in global communications: Verizon. We offer an unparalleled opportunity to advance your career while contributing in an enthusiastic, team-oriented environment.
Primary duties include, but are not limited to:
Install, remove, rearrange, program, test, troubleshoot and maintain fiber network services.
Install and configure routers, set top boxes.  May assist with installation of PC software as needed and ensure proper configuration of the customer's PC.  Interact with the Fiber Solution Center as needed.  May install appropriate inside wire/cable.
Install, maintain and repair outside and inside fiber equipment/facilities including inside wiring and fiber jumpers at the distribution hub.
Interface with customer to negotiate the placement of equipment; may assist with account registration, e-mail, and web access, and training the customer on how to use the new equipment.  Ensure customer satisfaction.  Respond to inquiries and provide follow-up, as necessary.
Interpret schematic work order drawings to determine job specifications and installation needs.  Order and/or obtain required equipment.  Effect problem solving where appropriate.
Utilize various test equipment to analyze equipment trouble and take appropriate maintenance action.
Requires high level of customer contact to ensure customer satisfaction.
Climbing poles and ladders; lifting 75-100 pounds on a regular basis; pushing, reaching, bending and stooping; manual dexterity; good sense of balance; and good color vision.
Must have a current/valid California Drivers License and a clean driving record.
Qualified candidates must pass all company required tests, a pre-employment drug screen and a background check. In addition, candidates will be required to successfully pass a legally required DOJ Criminal Records Check/screening process (fingerprinting).
Candidates must be able to work any shift given, including days, weekends, holidays and overtime as required.
Verizon offers:
Hourly rate for this position is $12.87-28.55.  Wage credit may be granted for related work experience and/or college degree.
Benefits include medical, dental, life insurance, 401(k) with Company match and paid vacation
interested candidates should go to to apply AND schedule themselves for testing.
Thank you for showing an interest in Verizon!
Verizon is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer supporting workforce diversity. m/f/d/v. Principals only! 

Finisar Corp has the following immediate job openings.
1. Field application engineers -East Coast
Providing field application support for east coast, covering various products from transceiver, transponder to discrete telecom components. Good communication skills, and document writing skills, and with technical understanding of product spec, test and reliability.
2. 300 pin Transponder development, technical managers
   Multi-year experience in developing optoelectronics modules, team building experience, hardware/firmware knowledge, and OE module testing/standard.
3. 300 pin Transponder development engineers: 2 openings
   Multi-year experience in developing relevant optoelectronics modules, hardware design or software design, digital/high speed PCB design.
4. Sales managers for Texas area
Regional sales managers for optoelectronic transceiver sales in Texas region. Multi year sales experience required.
If you are interested, please email <> with your resumes.

Optical Fiber Manufacturing Process Engineer
Job opening: This leading manufacturing of speciality optical fibers and optical fiber assemblies needs an Optical Fiber Manufacturing Process Engineer.  This  Persons main responsibility will be  to assist production in the development and implementation of new optical fiber
manufacturing operation procedures and facilities .

This candidate should be a  degreed engineer with at least 3 to 5 years experience in the manufacture
of specialty optical fibers to include silicone, polymide, acrylate and hard clad silica fiber claddings.

The candidate should also be familiar with state-of-the-art  fiber drawing towers and related equipment
and recommend improvements to reduce manufacturing costs and assist sales with technical inquiries.

This world wide company has lots of personnel opportunities for growth .

Al Bratland · President
Bratland & Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box  63 St. James MN. 56081
Phone: 507-375-4110 · Email:

A Preferred Member of Top Echelon Network of Recruiters

Cable Splicing Technicians-Multiple Locations
API Systems has been in business since 1992 and has fostered long lasting relationships amongst various Fortune clients, cutting edge technology companies and government clients. At this time, we have openings for Cable Splicing Technicians for a 6 month project in multiple locations. If interested, please review below and contact me for more information.
Makes and completes splices in various types of communication cables;
Makes rearrangements in existing splices of such cables
Cuts in cable terminals
Makes cable terminations
Tests, locates and corrects faults in such splices and cables when required
Places cable and terminals when required
Prepares records and reports as required
Does other preventive and corrective cable maintenance work, etc.

Training provided if necessary

Locations available:
All locations in Texas
Kansas (Topeka, Wichita)
Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma City)
Missouri (St. Louis, Raytown, Springfield, Joplin)
Arkansas (Little Rock, Hope, Warren, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Batesville, Jonesboro)

Duration: 6 months

Steve Colavito
PI Systems, Inc.
| Ph: 973 328 3328 x 246 | Cell: 732 996 4305 | Fax: 973 328 3371 |
| 3117 Route 10 East Denville NJ 07834 | |
About API Systems, Inc.:
Founded in 1992, API Systems is an IT Services Company offering our expertise to various well known, quality-driven clients nationwide. With global capabilities, API is devoted to promoting increased profitability and productivity through the efficient use of IT.
Award Winning Solution Provider
·          IT Infrastructure
·          Audio Video and Content Delivery
·          Application Development and Maintenance
·          Staffing and Project Services

Technical Personnel Available -Experienced In Manufacturing Fiber Optic Components and Systems
Northrop Grumman decided to close its Fibersense Technology facility in Canton, MA . The facility employs 160 people, producing Fiber Optics Gyroscopes. Fiber optic gyro is made of state of the art PM fibers, phase modulators, splitters, light sources (fiber and diode sources), receivers,
with advanced packaging and electronics implementation. The hardware and production line are being transferred to the west coast plants. This phase-out started already, and the tentative closure is by July.

Expert resources are available and looking for alternative employment in Massachusetts:
Optical technicians
Fiber optics sensor assembly technicians
Electrical technicians
Photonic R &D technician
All categories of engineers 

If you have an interest in any of the above, please send me e mail and I will ask the relevant people to contact you.

Ram Yahalom
R & D Manager
Northrop Grumman - Navigation System Division
Canton, MA
781-232-2225 (w)

Also Check Recent Job Openings In Previous Issues of The FOA Newsletter


Tech Puzzler
What is this? This OTDR trace shows a common feature that confuses many new OTDR users. For the answer, see below.
Answer below

Understanding FOA Certifications
To answer questions on FOA certifications, we've created several new web pages:
Overview of FOA certifications
Training Requirements - What Schools Are Teaching
Reading these will help you understand what each FOA certification covers and how to prepare for them.

New Professional Society for Structured Cabling Recognizes Importance of Fiber Optics (and Wireless)
The new Structured Cabling Association, Inc. ( is a professional society aimed at installers of "structured cabling" or premises cabling. Structured cabling has been focused on so-called "Cat 5" or UTP cabling for years, while network speeds have left UTP behind. Now most backbones for LANs are fiber optics and every network seems to have wireless. The SCA, founded in part by FOA activists Tom Collins and Jim Hayes, intends to make structured cabling training and certification more relevant to today's world.

FOA Logo Merchandise
FOA has arranged with EmbroidMe to provide FOA logo merchandies. Identify yourself as a FOA-certified tech or instructor. The lab coats are super impressive for either cabling techs and instructors. Check out the selection.



FOA CFOT Renewals Get Free Copy of NECA/FOA Installation Standard
Every CFOT renewal will now receive a free copy of NECA 301-2004, Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables, produced by The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical Contractors Association). This is an important reference document for defining the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants in a "neat and workmanlike manner."
The FOA feels this is such an important document that we are giving a free copy (normally priced at $15) to every active CFOT when they renew their active status.
The FOA has also sent free copies to all FOA-Approved schools. The new FOA CFOT exam to be used after August, 2005, will include questions from the standard. Schools should be including information from the standard in their classes already.

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 20,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 160 schools as the FOA enters its 12th year. Since our founding in July, 1995, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting fiber optics and professionalism in fiber optics personnel, focusing on education and certification. We are continuing to add new schools and more CFOTs as users of fiber optics learn that a CFOT is the indication of a professional, well-trained fiber optic technician. Now with FTTH (fiber to the home) finally taking off, demand for CFOTs is rising and schools are responding by expanding programs rapidly.
The FOA now has approved programs at 160+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Corning Cable Systems and AFL for their installation training programs and NASA's Goldstone Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is at


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 on this site for that purpose. But we are also asked about how to use the CFOT or CFOS certifications. Easy, you can refer to yourself as "Your Name, CFOT" or "Your Name, CFOS/T" for example.

Feel free to use the logo and designations to promote your achievements and professionalism!


Remember To Renew Your Certification !

Remember to renew your FOA certification. All current CFOTs have a ID Card with their certification data and we keep a database of current CFOTs to answer inquiries regarding your qualifications if needed. You must be a current FOA member and CFOT to participate in our online database of installers, contractors, technicians and consultants. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form to renew NOW!



To Contact The FOA:
The Fiber Optic Association
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Office Hours 10AM-5 PM Pacific Time
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421

Want to write for the FOA Newsletter? Send us articles, news, anything you think might be interesting to the rest of the membership!

Return to The FOA Home Page

(C)1999-2007, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler: Ghost

The multiple reflections in the fiber from a highly reflective event - the end of the fiber in this case - causes another peak at twice the distance of the real feature.

See the Lennie Lightwave for a complete tutorial on OTDRs and more.