December, 2009

In This Issue
US Stimulus Money for Broadband Funds Fiber Projects
Fiber Deployment, Faster Broadband on Rise in Rural America
JDSU Reference Guide to Fiber Optic Testing – Volume 2 Published
FCC Broadband Workshop Focuses On Advanced Fiber Networks
Verizon Starts Deployment of 100 Gigabits/Second
Copper Fails To Deliver (Again)?
FOA Plans New Books, Certifications in OSP

FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide It keeps expanding- now available in book form - and online with "Google Custom Search"

Tech Topics: New Listings of International Standards.  See Tech Topics Below.

Q&A: Fiber cleaning, return loss, fiber in innerduct, MM fiber specs. 

Product News:  Fusion splice-on prepolished splice connectors becoming more popular, OFS explains OM4 fiber.  See "Product News" Below

Worth Reading:  "Time Lens" Speeds Up Fiber Data, Dirt, Zombie Computers, Tanks, Economic crisis fueling open network interest (8/09), Plenty of IT Jobs Even In A Recession? See "Worth Reading" below
FTTH: See "In this Issue" above! Brigham City, Utah votes to issue bond for fiber-optic network.  North American Fiber to the Home Connections
Surge Past Five Million
. David Chaffee's FTTH Prism newsletter. 
Looking For Jobs - Large number of FTTH Test Techs needed in Malaysia, Electro Mechanical Engineer, Illumination Systems. See "Jobs" Below
This Month's "Tech Puzzler"
FOA Home Page
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Last Month:  11/09
The Future of Supercomputers is Optical
TIA Standards Meeting Report
First "Do It Yourself" FTTH, Now "Pay First" FTTH
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Current Issue of FOA Newsletter

It's now CFOT®  The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) is now a registered trademark. With over 25,000 fiber optic techs holding CFOTs and the CFOT being recognized worldwide as the foremost certification in fiber optics, the FOA realized the value of the CFOT required trademark protection. Now it's official!

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

Contact the FOA

You can now renew your FOA certification online - and get an extra month free. Details here.

US Stimulus Money for Broadband Funds Fiber Projects

As we predicted earlier, much of the US Government's $7.2 billion BTOP stimulus package would go for fiber optic projects. Nothing expands broadband like fiber, so we were not surprised when many of the earliest projects approved involved fiber backbones or FTTH. Here are a few of the first grants announced:

GEORGIA: North Georgia Network Cooperative, Inc., $33.5 million grant with an additional $8.8 million in matching funds to deploy a 260-mile regional fiber-optic ring to deliver gigabit broadband speeds, reliability, affordability, and abundant interconnection points for last mile service in the North Georgia foothills.

MAINE: Biddeford Internet Corp. (d.b.a. GWI), $25.4 million grant with an additional $6.4 million in matching funds to build a 1,100-mile open access fiber-optic network extending to the most rural and disadvantaged areas of the state of Maine, from the Saint John Valley in the north, to the rocky coastline of downeast Maine, to the mountainous regions of western Maine.

NEW YORK: ION Hold Co., LLC, $39.7 million grant with an additional $9.9 million in matching funds to build 10 new segments of fiber-optic, middle mile broadband infrastructure, serving more than 70 rural communities in upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania and Vermont.

SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota Network, LLC, $20.6 million grant with an additional $5.1 million in matching funds to add 140 miles of backbone network and 219 miles of middle mile spurs to existing network, enabling the delivery of at least 10 Mbps service to more than 220 existing anchor institution customers in rural and underserved areas of the state.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bretton Woods, The Bretton Woods Telephone Company, $985,000 grant for 20 Mbps two-way broadband service to all potential customers and stimulate tourism in the area to substantially improve the local economy. This Fiber to The Premise service will be available to more than 400 locations.

NEW YORK: Potsdam, Slic Network Solutions (Nicholville Telephone) a grant of $4.3 million and loan of $1.1 million for a 136-mile fiber optic network reaching into five towns in rural Franklin County. This all-fiber network will deliver broadband voice, and IPTV services to remote rural areas. The network will offer service to more than 6,500 locations.

OHIO: North Central Ohio Rural Fiber Optic Network, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, $1,034,413 grant and $1,399,499 loan; and matching funds of $1,225,000. The funding is integral to a smart grid initiative and broadband service based on an open-connectivity fiber optic backbone network.

More information about projects funded by the Recovery Act is available at,, and

Looking for a job? These projects should keep many fiber techs employed! Hint: search the sites, esp. this page on, for fiber or fiber optics and/or your local state/city.

Fiber Deployment, Faster Broadband on Rise in Rural America
A new survey by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) reveals that small rural communications providers are deploying fiber at an impressive pace, bringing faster high speed broadband service to America's rural communities.
NTCA's 2009 Broadband/Internet Availability Survey found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents with a fiber deployment strategy intend to offer fiber to the node to more than 75% of their customer base by 2011. Fifty-five percent plan to offer fiber to the home to more than half their customers in that same time frame-more than doubled from just 26% last year.
Rural areas are seeing significant gains in broadband speeds, primarily due to the increased fiber availability in their communities, according to the survey. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated their customers can now receive broadband service of between 3 and 6 Mbps (up from 46% last year), and 39% can receive service in excess of 6 Mbps-an increase from just 25% one year ago. Survey respondents indicated an increase in take rates for the higher broadband speed tiers as well.
Red the full report (including the survey results) on the NTCA website.
(We told them so - Jim Hayes of the FOA told the NCTA convention in 2006 that "sooner or later, they would deploy fiber...)

JDSU Fiber Optic Testing Volume 2JDSU Reference Guide to Fiber Optic Testing – Volume 2 Published
The second volume of the JDSU series on fiber optic testing has been published.  Volume 1 focused on Basic Fiber testing and Volume 2 is geared toward fiber optic installers, project managers, telecom technicians and engineers who need to understand fiber networks. Volume 2 also covers Chromatic Dispersion, Polarization Mode Dispersion, Attenuation Profile and Fiber Link and Network Characterization. A 3rd volume, a glossary of fiber optic terms, is also available for download.
This is a "MUST HAVE" for all fiber optic techs. Download your free copies here.

FCC Broadband Workshop Focuses On Advanced Fiber Networks
The current experience with and future possibilities of advanced fiber networks was the topic of a staff workshop at the Federal Communications Commission on November 19, 2009.  Entitled “Future Fiber Architectures and Local Deployment Choices,” the goal of the workshop was help the FCC to understand fiber and partial fiber networks that operate at speeds of 100 megabits per second and faster as solutions for public institutions, small-to-medium-sized enterprises, “middle mile” transport of data in rural areas, and homes.  Open to the public, the workshop was intended to gather data and information for the development of a National Broadband Plan.  Attendees included FCC personnel and industry experts. Topics included “Future Fiber Architectures” and “Local Deployment Choices.”
You can view the FCC description of the meeting and all the presentations (highly recommended – they represent a good overview of the status of broadband delivery, industry plans in the US) on the FCC website at

Verizon Starts Deployment of 100 Gigabits/Second
After successful trials, Verizon has started using 100-gigabit-per-second link on a live commercial network as it prepares to convert the vast majority of its North American long-haul network from 10-Gb/s to 100 Gb/s. Verizon is now using what it calls a “true” 100G link between routers on its private IP network in the more than 900 kilometer span connecting Paris and Frankfurt, Germany. That means a wavelength carried 100-Gb/s in the same 50-gigahertz channel space that only carried 10 Gb/s in the more than 30 other wavelengths beside it in the fiber.  More from Telephony.

Copper Fails To Deliver (Again)?

According to IGI's High Speed Access Report, AT&T is finding its fiber to the node (FTTN) strategy is not delivering the bandwidth it needs. The AT&T FTTN architecture leaves about 3,000 feet (~ 1 km) of copper which is marginal at delivering the bandwidth needed by AT&T's triple play U-verse service really needs. Details in Lightwave. Contact IGI regarding their
High Speed Access Report.

The Unsung Heroes of Fiber Optics
The 2009 Nobel Prize awarded to Dr. Charles Kao led to an  discussion within the FOA regarding the many people we've known who were part of the development of fiber optics. Not all made big discoveries or invented famous things, but all contributed to the development of our industry. Some were involved with fiber, some with cables, connectors, splices, hardware, communications equipment, some developed new applications, but all contributed to our industry.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the FOA next year, we're going to recognize some of those "unsung heroes" of our industry. And we're asking you to help us decide who gets recognized by sending us your suggestions. Tell us who you thinks deserves recognition and why - send an email to with the subject "Hero" and a few words why this person was important to the industry.

Portugal Telecom trials Plastic Optical Fibre 
Portugal Telecom has launched trials of Plastic Optical Fibre (POF) solutions for IPTV home networking applications, based on optical fibre networking technology from Irish firm Firecomms and Japan's Mitsubishi Rayon.  More: IPTVnews.

What Should A Fiber Optics or Cabling Tech Know and What Skills Do They Need?
The FOA has been updating its lists of KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) for fiber and cabling techs. The updated list is now on the website for your information and comments - as fiber and cabling KSAs evlove as new technologies develop.
KSAs for fiber and cabling techs.

FOA Plans New Books, Certification in OSP
The FOA's new textbook and CFOT certification reference,
FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics, has become a "best seller," outselling our previous textbook by 3 to 1. We assume the popularity of the new book is partly its cost, only $24.95 list from, but also the more up to date content and better organization. The success of the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics has encouraged us to start work on another new book to provide a reference guide to our CPCT premises cabling certification.
The FOA CPCT certification is becoming more popular, since many manufacturers have greatly reduced their premises/structured cabling training due to the current state of the economy. FOA CPCT training, which covers fiber and wireless in addition to the typical UTP/Cat5-6 training, can be added to a CFOT course easily, since it can be covered in two additonal days. The new book, 
FOA Reference Guide To Premises Cabling, is already in the works with a release date early in 2010. For now, you can find information on premises cabling in the FOA Online Reference Guide
Outside plant (OSP) fiber optics is the next project for the FOA, starting with a update of the 
The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide for more materials on OSP to provide the reference for a OSP specialist certification and become the foundation of another FOA book, the FOA Reference Guide To Outside Plant Fiber Optics. In the near future, we will be adding information on the OSP certification, including topics and KSAs, to the FOA website.

New FOA Book Available from for only $24.95. FOA book
That's FOA President Jim Hayes, the guy behind the new book, reading a copy.
The new FOA book,
the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics, is finished and available 
from for only $24.95.
The new book  is intended to be used in training for FOA certification and as a reference book for everybody interested in fiber optics: contractors, installers and end users of fiber optics. It's complemented by our
Reference Website and complete curriculum materials for teaching fiber optic courses.
This book, which benefits from 12 years of experience with our previous book,
The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, is more comprehensive on many important topics and better organized for use both as a reference and as a textbook. It's developed from our Reference Website which complements the  book and covers many subjects in greater depth. And since we are self-publishing the book using more modern "publish on demand" technology, it will be easier to keep up to date and much cheaper - as you can see from the price!
The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics and The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide website will be the official reference for the 2010  CFOT exams.

Here is more information on
the FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics. Order  from for only $24.95.

FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide

The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide has become very popular - perhaps the most popular technical website ever, typically with over 30,000 users monthly! We continue updating materials regularly, keeping it as up to date as possible.

Updated: This month we updated the Premises Cabling section in preparation for the next FOA Textbook!

Wanted: Links To Technical Materials
Next, we're soliciting links from fiber optic manufacturers and other organizations that have created technical materials that would be of interest to our readers. If you have technical websites you want to share, go here for our guidelines for submission.

FOA Offers "Google Custom Search  to Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide

custom searchThere's so much information on the FOA 
Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide that even a well-organized Table of Contents isn't enough and when the material is always changing, an index is impossible to maintain. So the FOA is using the latest technology in search, Google Custom Search, which will allow you to search just the FOA Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide for any topic you want to find more about. Try it!  

Go to  The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

Featured Schools:
The FOA welcomes new schools receiving FOA Approval this month:
  • S&S Solutions, Mesa, AZ (#299)
  • Meeds Networks, Nigeria (#731)
  • E-Sense Technology Solutions, Nigeria (#732)
Africa has become a very active area for fiber optics as they build up their telecommunications capacity. Even where they use satellites for remote areas, they need fiber optics for local distribution, leading to a need for trained techs. The FOA is proud to be a part of the development of Africa's communications systems.

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

Good Question! Tech Questions Worth Repeating

Fiber Cleaning
This is a topic we keep reminding everybody about, and here is why:

From a contrator in the Middle East: Here some samples of the connectors for SM fiber already installed in the system we were testing.
dirty connector   dirty connector
As you can see, the dirt is large compared to the size of the fiber (dark gray), and the core (not visible here) is only 9/125 of the overall diameter of the fiber! See Product News below for links to vendors of fiber cleaning products.

Return Loss/Reflectance on MM?

A comment on your FOA FAQ on 'return loss'.  You state that the accuracy is +- 1 dB.  I think you may want to look at the NIST round robin data.  The +- 1 dB seems to hold only for the best SM fiber cases; for MM fibers +-5 dB seems the minimum.

You are quite right! When this was written, nobody had even considered return loss, now generally called reflectance, on MM. But with the advent of using lasers and high speed systems, some attention was given to the topic. Round robin tests showed that testing it was very difficult, but in addition, it turns out to be much less a problem in systems than singlemode due to higher loss and NA in MM fibers. We have made the corrections to the FAQs.

Fiber In Innerduct

: Is there a standard out there that requires fiber in inside locations, such as a server farm, telco closet, etc., to be run in innerduct?

There are no standards requiring fiber indoors to be run in innerduct. It has been used primarily where fiber is mixed with many other cables to prevent crush damage. The cable manufacturers are now offering an indoor armored cable for this reason.
This indoor armored cable is NEC-rated OFCR for Optical Fiber Conductive Riser. OFCR cables have the same fire rating characteristics as OFNR cables but they have conducting armor or central strength member which is usually steel.  OFCR cables can  not be installed in the same cable trays or conduits as power cables. Corning now makes a non-metallic cable with high crush strength for this same application.

Multimode Fiber

We have to order Multimode fibre optic cable but we have some devices which work @ 1300nm and also some devices @ 850 nm. Will multimode fibre support both the wavelenghs?

A: All multimode fiber is designed to operate at both 850 and 1300 nm. Originally, multimode sources were LEDs and the fiber was designed and specified for their use. However, today most 850 nm networks use VCSELs, an inexpensive laser that offers very high speed capability. Networks using 1300 nm today mainly use lasers also, but these are Fabry-Perot lasers that were designed for use on singlemode fiber.
Both these sources prefer laser-optimized 50/125 micron fiber, generally referred to by it's international designation OM2 which offers equal bandwidth at 850 or 1300 nm or OM3 which offers higher bandwidth at 850 nm for 1-10 GB/s systems. There is even a new OM4 50/125 fiber for 10-100 Gb/s.

Where To Place Attenuators?

Q: Our link is only going .91Km over single mode and needs to use attenuators. Where do we place the inline attenuators? On the TX or RX side? Also do you have a chart that shows single mode wavelength and distance and what dB attenuator to use, like a 5dB, 10dB, etc?

A: Attenuators always go at the receiver end to minimize reflectance effects on the transmitters and make it easier to test power at the receiver with a power meter. The amount of loss needed depends on the link. If it's designed for say 20 km but used at 1 km, you need to add 19 km of loss or about 8-10 dB. Look for the spec on the receiver power or link loss budget on the system

Availability of "Dark Fiber"

Q: Our County Planning Department has been asked to map locations where fiber optic cable is available. The planners would  like to promote the availability of fiber optic as a "plus" to  recruit new businesses to locations where it is available.
Can you put me in touch with a fiber optic organization that knows fiber optic locations so that this information can be assembled to help promote  economic development for the county.

A: There are millions of miles of fiber around the US and the world, so  it's hard to keep track of them. Contacting local telcos and LECs  (local exchange carriers) and CATV companies will get you started. New England Fiber has a data base of installed fiber around the country. They can be reached at Also, look at their web site

Composite Cables

I am in search of a cable product which contains both copper and fiber with a robust outer jacket. At this time I have had little success in finding a suitable manufacturer.  I wonder if you have any recommendations or referrals. 

A: What you want is called a "composite fiber optic cable."  You won't find too many "standard" cables like that but there are specialty cable manufacturers who make custom cables like this all the time. Many are used for underwater remote-piloted vehicles used for exploring, and of course, those cables are water-tight also.

Estimating Fiber Installs

Currently my Utility District is in the process of designing and bidding out the installation of 51 miles of fiber cable and I am trying to find information on creating a cost estimate for this work. Would you have any information on average installation costs for various parts of the country?

The FOA a tutorial on estimating on our "Tech Topics" website ( and the table below has some labor units that may prove helpful.
I would also suggest talking to the cable manufacturers to see what they say, as they have the most experience with their products.

Loss Budgets (A question we get all the time!)

Why do we count the connectors on each end of the link that will plug into our equipment as one connector alone has "no loss"? If you could shed some light on this subject it would be greatly appreciated.

We count the connections on each end for several reasons.
1) When we test the cable plant per OFSTP-14, we use launch and receive reference cables which will include the end connections in the tests. Without including them in the loss budget, we would reject many cable plants because the tested value will be higher by two connections.
2) Network standards include the connectors on the ends since most installed cable plants are from wall or rack connection outlets to another wall or rack connection. When equipment is attached, it will be done by patchcords which will have a loss when connected to the outlet. Adding them into the loss budget therefore matches the usage.

Measurement Uncertainty: Everyone testing fiber optics should understand that every measurement has some uncertainty - whether you are measuring loss, length, wavelength, power, etc. Knowing that uncertainty is very important to interpreting the measurement. It's worthwhile to read and understand the issue of measurement accuracy covered in this page of the FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

Worth Reading:

Sufficiently Advanced Technology Is Indistinguishable From Magic Department:
"Time Lens" Speeds Up Fiber Data

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a simple silicon device for speeding up optical data. The device incorporates a silicon chip called a "time lens," lengths of optical fiber, and a laser. It splits up a data stream encoded at 10 gigabits per second, puts it back together, and outputs the same data at 270 gigabits per second. Speeding up optical data transmission usually requires a lot of energy and bulky, expensive optics. The new system is energy efficient and is integrated on a compact silicon chip. It could be used to move vast quantities of data at fast speeds over the Internet or on optical chips inside computers. (MIT Technology Review)

As much as 70% of the problems associated with deploying fiber to the home result from something as simple as dirty connectors according to JDSU. Telephony Online.

Tanks And Ships
GB Ethernet and fiber Upgrades. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms got a contract to supply a custom version of its Gigabit Ethernet switch to rumble around inside the US Army's Abrams tank. The US Navy recently awarded Boeing contract to upgrade and support the Gigabit Ethernet networks it is building on its guided missile destroyers.   From Network World.

Good Technical Websites

American Polywater ( has one of the best technical website for cable installers. Here is a rundown on some new material on their site.

Cable Installation using "Push" or "Push/Pull"
Polywater's new Pull-Planner™ 3000 Software allows a "pushing force" variable in pulling tension calculations.  Read a White Paper that quantifies the push contribution and compares calculation results to field experience. --

Pulling Cable Through Water?
Read a Product Spotlight on Polywater® + Silicone™, Polywater's new generation underground lubricant.  Continued reduction of friction when pulling through water is only one of the unique features of this lubricant. --

Check out their website, especially “Videos,” “Engineer’s Corner” and  “Calculators.”


" Heard on the Street" is a monthly online newsletter from Frank Bisbee of Communications Planning Corporation  that covers the telecommunications and cabling businesses. Each month includes news from manufacturers, trade associations and professional societies like the FOA. You can read the current issue and back issues online.

JDSU Webinar series
JDSU has announced the See the Light webinar series, a four-part program designed for anyone involved in the installation, maintenance, and repair of fiber optic systems. It begins with fiber inspection and cleaning and then covers the basics of fiber testing. The webinar series then continues with the more advanced optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) and fiber local area network (LAN) testing challenges. More information on the series.

IGI is offering a series of webinars on topics of interest to those in the communications industry. You can join them live ir download from the archives. 
IGI, a major market research and technology reporting company (the "Active Optical Cables" below)  is offering a a free one year subscription to one of our fiber optics newsletters to FOA members.  All they have to do is to send IGI an e-mail stating which newsletter they would like to get. See for a listing of IGI Newsletters.

FOA Tech Topics - 
The new FOA reference website is now online. New sections have been added on fusion splicing and mechanical splicing.  Check out the current Table of Contents. 

Coming soon to a network near you  - 40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet!
The IEEE is already working on specs for
40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet and have approved a number of new PMDs (that's standards-speak for Physical Medium Dependent - i.e. cabling). A summary of the proposals is on the updated list of network specs at
FOA 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.
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?
New Tech Topics
Industry standards updated to include international standards
Updated link specs for fiber optic networks - now includes 10G Ethernet.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on General Topics and Testing
Reference Guide sections on fusion splicing and mechanical splicing.

  • Product News

    Splice-On Connectors
    fusion splice on connector
    Instead of an internal mechanical splice, these connectors have a fiber stub that can be fusion spliced onto the fiber being terminated. They offer lower loss than the typical mechanical splice prepolished/splice connector and since the splice is protected inside the connector, they do not require splice closures for terminations. Manufacturers now include AFL (FuseConnect shown above), Corning (FuseFlex), Sumitomo (Lynx) and OFS (Splice-On-Connectors).
    OFS Explains OM4 Fiber, Lightwave.
    In an article in Lightwave, David Mazzarese of OFS explains what it is and why it was developed.  You should also read the article on bend-resistant MM fiber for the data center.

    Used Test Equipment – Buy or Sell

    Have you read the FOA Tech Topics on Cleaning?

    More links on cleaning:

  • Westover 
  • AFL

    ITW Chemtronics

    Cleantex Alco Pads



    FTTH Notes:

    Brigham City votes to issue bond for fiber-optic network
    Brigham City Council approved the issuance of a $3.7 million bond to fund the build-out of the fiber-optic system in the city.
    The bond will be issued through a special assessment area set up by the city for Utopia's benefit. The revenue to pay the bonds will be generated by the approximately 1,600 city residents who agreed to pay $6,000 each over the next 20 years, or approximately $22 a month, to hook up their homes so they could access the network.
    "We are doing this for all of Brigham City," Mayor Lou Ann Christiansen said. Read more: Salt Lake Tribune.

    Fiber-to-the-Home Council:
    North American Fiber to the Home Connections
    Surge Past Five Million

    FTTH Networks Now Available to 15 Percent of Homes

    HOUSTON, Sept. 29, 2009 - The number of North American fiber to the home (FTTH) subscribers now stands at more than 5.3 million, as deployers of end-to-end fiber networks continue to add more than 1.5 million customers a year, according to a study released today by the Fiber-to-the-Home Council.

    The study, which was conducted by RVA Market Research ( and will be presented tomorrow to the 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo in Houston, also found continued robust growth in the number of homes passed by FTTH networks, which rose to 17.2 million from 13.8 million a year ago.  Five years after their deployment began in earnest, fiber to the home networks are now available to 15 percent of homes in North America.

    "The march to all-fiber networks is showing no sign of letting up in the United States and Canada," said Joe Savage, President of the FTTH Council, which promotes and tracks the growth of fiber to the home in North America.  "Given the growing sophistication and bandwidth requirements of online and video applications, as well as the high satisfaction that current FTTH subscribers are expressing about their fiber service, the growing consumer demand for end-to-end fiber is now a fact of life and something that our members are working hard to satisfy."

    In addition to the 5.33 million homes connected to FTTH, the study found that the overall "take rate" - the percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe - went up for the seventh straight six-month period, with the vast majority of providers experiencing take rates of greater than 50 percent.

    Download the accompanying charts on FTTH deployment.
    Led by Verizon's massive investment in FTTH technology in the deployment of its FiOS service, the fiber to the home industry in North America also includes hundreds of smaller telephone companies and other network providers, municipalities, planned residential communities and cable television companies that are making the move to end-to-end fiber to deliver next-generation video, internet and voice services.  Given the almost unlimited bandwidth of fiber, FTTH technology is seen as an ideal way of "future-proofing" networks in light of the ever increasing consumer and business demand for faster networks and higher-bandwidth applications.

    David Chaffee's FTTH Prism Newsletter is Online
    (archives are at bottom of the linked page)

    Verizon Ups FiOS Speeds in NY
    Verizon is offering faster FiOS speeds in NY and even getting into the TV biz with a local channel. Telephony.

    In Norway, You Might Have To Bury Your Own Cable To Get FTTH!
    A Norwegian triple-play provider has a unique solution to the pesky problem of digging up consumers' yards to bury fiber-to-the-home. Lyse Tele, an overbuilder that launched its fiber-based all-IP solution in 2002, installs the fiber right to the edge of a customer's lawn, then gives the customer instructions on how to bury their own fiber cable to the house.
    Read More From Telephony.
    Where is Verizon offfering FiOS service? See this map.
    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. Read the article about FOA President Jim Hayes being honored for his work promoting FTTH.


    What Is The FOA?

    Hear FOA President Jim Hayes tell the FOA Story in a 2-part interview by Sound & Video Contractor Contributing Editor Bennett Liles. It tells about the FOA history, goals and achievements.
    Part 1:  
    Part 2

     Digging Safely (Read the FOA Tech Topic)

    There is a new toll-free "call before you dig" number: 811

    See for more information

    National Fiber Optic Protection Summit: By the "811" group. March, 2008 in Vegas.


    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:

    Job Openings

    Electro Mechanical Engineer, Illumination Systems (09/09)

    Exciting East Hartford, CT engineering firm in the fiber optics industry has the need for an out of the box thinker and design expert. You will be supporting contracts to provide lighting for naval surface ships. Work with a strong and experienced management team. Great opportunity for the right individual!

    Position Particulars:
    Degree in Electro-Mechanics or a similar discipline and 4+ years of
    experience related to electro-mechanical components assembly, illumination systems, and testing. Given the nature of the work, US Citizenship is required and Secret Clearance a plus.
    Build the fiber optic illumination system components.
    Test the components and systems.
    Assist in the expansion of the optics lab and R&D capabilities.
    Assist in the development and fabrication of new illuminators, lamp reflectors, luminaires, and other non-imaging devices.
    Assist in the characterization of the emission and performance of different light sources including metal halides and LED’s.
    Provide support in the development of the technical documentation and the data deliverables pertaining to the illumination systems.
    Assist with testing, qualification, installation, and system integration at the test facility and at the customer site (shipyard and/or US Navy vessel).

    Position highlights:
    Illumination Fiber Optic Cable Design
    Illuminator (Light Engine) Design for Manufacturing
    Light Diffuser (Luminaire) Design for Manufacturing
    System Testing
    Engineering Design
    Product Development
    Installation Support

    Tony Raccio or
    Debra Benton

     Do listings in the FOA Newsletter Work? Here's feedback:

    "We did great!  We have over 15 interviews next week."

    David Swales, Jr.

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


    Tech Puzzler
    What is the difference between a "visual fiber tracer" and "visual fault locator"?

    Answer below

    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 Certification Top Choice

    The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 27,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 230 schools. 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 200+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Corning Cable Systems and AFL (and their new acquisition "The Light Brigade" for their installation training programs) and NASA's Goldstone Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is at


    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.

    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!

    You can now renew your FOA certification online - and get an extra month free. Details here.



    To Contact The FOA:
    The Fiber Optic Association
    1119 S Mission Road, # 355
    Fallbrook, California 92028 USA
    Office Hours 10AM-5 PM Pacific Time, Monday to Friday
    Telephone: 760-451-3655
    Fax: 781-207-2421
    You can now renew your FOA certification online - and get an extra month free. Details here.

    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)1999-2009, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

    Tech Puzzler:
    A "visual fiber tracer" is a low-powered visible source that when coupled into a fiber allows tracing fibers or checking polarity. A "visual fault locator" has a higher-powered laser source that can also be used to find bending losses or breaks in fibers where the jacket is translucent enough. See the FOA Reference Guide for more info.