January, 2004

Previous Issues:December, 2003, November, 2003 October 2003 September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, March 15, 2003, October, 2002 , August, 2002, May, 2002

The FOA Office Has moved. Please use our new phone, fax and mailing address.

Happy New Year
And best wishes for a prosperous new year!
From a fiber optic perspective, it's looking up, we think!

Here's our current opinion on the market for fiber optic installation jobs.
The jobs are certainly not in the "long haul" market. Reports of cables having 95% dark fiber or more were true in many markets. The rush to fiber for long distance telephony and the Internet created an oversupply of bandwidth that in high-traffic markets will take years to use up. Only certain areas such as secondary markets that were ignored in the "fiber rush" are getting new cables now and fiber counts in cables are much lower, meaning less installation time.
Metropolitan markets are doing better. Big cities are mostly overbuilt but smaller cities are now getting the attention. Some are experiencing good telecom and Internet traffic growth and require more capacity, creating a market for outside plant installers. Like the long haul market, cables typically have lower fiber counts, in spite of the fact that singlemode fiber costs only about 2 cents per meter ­ actually less than kite string or monofilament fishing line! Fiber may be cheap, but users know the installation is expensive, so they reduce their costs by installing only the fiber they know they need.
The big news is in fiber to the home. Just don't hold your breath. There are several obstacles in the way of massive FTTH installations.Most people we have talked with wonder if this is a real program. The telcos have talked about FTTH for 15 years or more but only do a few dozen houses at a time. Some people also think it's just a ploy by the telcos to put pressure on suppliers to lower prices or just a diversion to test the market among consumers. The consumers are the wild card. Will they subscribe to services that will make FTTH profitable for the telcos? Will the telcos use FTTH to try to catch up with the CATV industry which has a 2:1 lead over DSL with their broadband cable modem service? And will consumers continue their abandonment of landlines for wireless services making investment in FTTH or any form of telco cabling questionable?
In the midst of all this uncertainty, there is lots of good news for contractors and installers. Both the premises cabling and security markets are booming. Multimode installations for LANs and security systems are benefiting from current market conditions.
The security concerns today have greatly helped fiber optics. It's being more widely used for video surveillance cameras and alarms. The military and government agencies are budgeting billions of dollars for installing new fiber networks in many facilities with geographically diverse cable runs to prevent terrorist attacks from disrupting communications. Upgrades to links between facilities are also in the works.
It seems that the market potential for the contractor doing premises and campus fiber optics is really good, while the opportunity in FTTH is a long shot that could pay off big.

Are You In The Right Job?

What skills does your job require? Or what jobs match your skills? See http://online.onetcenter.org/ for the US Department of Labor's O*NET Occupational Information Network Online for a database of occupational information. It's very informative.

FOA Again Co-Sponsors VDV Expo

NECA will be holding their 5th annual VDV Expo in Las Vegas March 10-12, 2004. Besides the exhibition, there are many good seminars available, including two by FOA President Jim Hayes, one on fast-terminations for fiber optic cables and another on understanding OTDRs.

The whole conference program is at http://vdvexpo.org/


Understanding OLTS Loss Testing, OTDRs

New sections of "Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics" covers loss testing of fiber optic cables and OTDRs. The loss testing pages are in Lennie's unique "virtual hands-on" format that shows the process step-by-step. The OTDR section tells how they work, what they measure, how (and where) to use them and describes the measurement errors. A good read!

New Tech Topics

Plastic Optical Fibers (POF)

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

Fiber Amplifiers

Eric Pearson's Newsletters - with some tests on connectors.

Interested In Advanced Certification?

If you think you might, download and print yourself a FOA Logbook to keep track of your experience and traning. It will help you qualify for the CFOS certifications.

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. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form or the FOA online store to renew NOW!

Want To Get FOA Email?
We have been asked if we could send the FOA newsletter by email or post it on the website. We are looking into that and will definitely get one started soon. When you renew your certification, you will be asked if you are interested in email newsletters and if so, you will be asked to give your email address for us to use in a mailing list. If you want to get started now, send an email to info@thefoa.org with the subject "eMail List"
Note that The FOA never releases its mailing lists for any use! Your data is always safe with us.

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

Officers and
Board of Directors
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
Eric Pearson, Director of Certification
Tom Collins, Gateway Comm. College
Van Ewert, AESA
Bill Graham
Karen Hayes
FOA Staff:
Jim Hayes, newsletter, website editor
Karen Hayes, Administration

The FOA is managed under contract by:
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421
email: info@vdvworks.com
FOA Board of Advisors
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
Tony Beam
Dave Chaney
F. Douglas Elliot, Past President
William H. Graham
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
John Highhouse, Past President
Danny S. Lyall
Eric Y. Loytty
Bob Mason
Eric Pearson
Paul Rosenberg, Past President
Dan Silver
Richard James Smith
Dominick Tamone
Tom Collins
Van Ewert

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

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