November, 2003

Previous Issues: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.

Is Fiber Really More Costly Than Copper? An Update.

A newly-released cost model developed by the Fiber Optics LAN Section (FOLS) of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and Pearson Technologies shows all-fiber networks to be the most cost-effective network solution for many LAN scenarios. The results of the cost model debunk the prevailing myth that unshielded twisted pair (UTP) copper is a less expensive medium to install than fiber when evaluating installed first costs -- in all 12 of the scenarios featured, all-fiber networks offer the lowest cost solution when compared to vertical fiber/UTP horizontal networks. Read more about it.

A Web conference to review the cost model and its findings is scheduled for November 20, 2:00-3:30 p.m. EST. The Web conference is free and you can register online .

Fiber is Still "Hot" In Some Circles - Wireless Has Some Problems

An article on the Consulting-Specifying Engineer Web site on "smart" office buildings quoted Mathew Spathas of Sentre Partners, a building property management firm in San Diego, on the five building services that will become "must haves" over the next 10 years:

* building optical networks;

* broad bandwidth as a utility;

* automated IT systems;

* integrated building systems (IBS); and

* wireless capacity as an amenity.

Well, that's good news. Hopefully the Consulting and Specifying Engineers will spec more premises fiber.

An article in the LA Times, 11/4/03, points our a serious problem with the proliferation of wireless devices - interference. As the manufacturers of wireless devices sell more gadgets, especially in the home, interference between the devices is causing problems - with noise showing up on cordless phones, garage doors opening mysteriously, and one of the most serious - albeit humorous - an incident of a baby monitorswamping air traffic control frequencies at a London airport. Another famous incident occured in Dallas, where the first digital TV transmissions caused interference with about 60 wireless heart monitors at Baylor University Hospital. We're all familiar with the requirement to turn off cell phones on airplanes, since some do indeed interfere with navigation systems. And the latest problem is that WiFi wireless LANs are close to military radar frequencies.

Will the proliferation of wireless devices cause so many problems that their acceptance will be slowed or government regulation will make them less popular?

Ever Hear Of "Holey Fibers" ?

The idea of fibers that guide light through voids in the glass fiber was comes from MIT a few years ago, from a group that was working on thin film coatings to make perfect mirrors. The fibers work by the photonic bandgap principle, not simple optics. But they offer some unique characteristics. Empty holes will obviously have lower loss than glass cores and not cause as much dispersion. The rest of the fiber could be glass or plastic or maybe some grown crystal. Inserting materials in the holes that can change their optical characteristics under external influence (electrical, thermal, etc.) allows making switches, bragg gratings, and other devices. The holey fibers are also great for high power transmission, since the empty holes interact less (e.g. less heating) with very high power sources.

Want to know more? Here are some links from the MIT website. Another way to find articles is to Google "holey fibers."


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 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
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!

Return to Top

Return to The FOA Home Page

(C)1999-2003, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.