FOA certifies 10,000th CFOT
AESA (Aviation and Electronics Schools of America) issued the FOA's 10,000 CFOT certification recently. The FOA began offering the CFOT certification only in 1997, as a way for fiber optic techs to show their professionalism. It took a while for the CFOT to catch on, but the industry and schools realized that we took our certifications seriously. With Professor Elias Awad, the teacher behind the first college fiber optic class over 20 years ago, in charge of school approval and Eric Pearson, one of the best and best-known fiber optic instructors and technical experts, behind certification exam development, the FOA CFOT certification gained rapid recognition.
Today, the FOA CFOT certification is offered by over 70 schools and training organizations throughout the world. In addition to the basic CFOT, the FOA now offers CFOS specialist certification in termination, splicing and testing for those individuals and schools looking for higher goals for certifications.
Pentagon Approves Fiber Optic Project, Embraces Geographic Diversity To Prevent Terrorism Disruptions
The Pentagon has approved a $900 million project to build a high speed fiber optic network connecting US posts around the world. This project is expected to draw bidders such as Lucent and Tellabs who can certainly use a big project to boost lagging sales.
In a related issue, conversations with a large defense contractor at a recent business meeting indicated that the Defense Department is hiring fiber optic contractors to build redundant networks on many posts to provide for geographic diversity - running redundant circuits but over very well separated routes - in case one route is damaged in an attack, the other route will remain operational. This means, of course, more work and revenue for the contractors.
Geographic diversity makes good sense. Many years ago a train derailment in the NE US dug up and broke ables from all the major long-haul fiber optic communications suppliers because they were all on one side of the tracks! Service would not have been disrupted had they had some cables on each side. This argues against the common practice today of installing multiple innerducts when digging for any route. It may save money for future installs but may also cause major service disruptions in a case of "backhoe fade."
Will "Abandoned Cables" Sink Copper In Buildings?
The final nail in the coffin of copper cabling may be a new provision of the NEC. Article 800.52B of the 2002 NEC requires the removal of abandoned cables as fire hazards. Landlords are becoming the enforcers of this code, requiring those installing cables or vacating locations to remove abandoned cables. We've all seen offices where layers and layers of cables are left above ceilings or below floors, archaeological reminders of the numerous generations of copper cabling installed over the years. When installing a new generation of copper cabling requires removing old cables at immense cost - removing cables is much more expensive than installing them - upgrading your copper cabling every year or two becomes highly unattractive financially.
SM MT-RJ Problems With Gigabit Ethernet?
The MT-RJ connector has not had a easy gestation. Stories of poor yield in field installation of the "cleave and Leave" packs or plugs continue to circulate in the industry. Like any new connector, there are bugs to work out, but manufacturers also get part of the blame for promoting the "cleave and Leave" connectors as quick terminations. Quick? Maybe, but if you are not experienced with them and have good tools, losses can be very high (they are the reason TIA 568 allows 0.75 dB/connector compared to about 0.3 dB for a typical adhesive/polish connector) and yield of good terminations low.
The MT-RJ does not seem to offer a good "PC" (physical contact) termination, leading to high back reflections. These back reflections are not a big problem in MM GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) networks, but can be fatal in shorter SM nets. The high back reflections - the same one that create confusing "ghosts" in OTDR traces - create background noise and erroneous pulses that confuse the GbE receiver, causing high bit error rates (BER).
If you are running GbE on SM, especially in the 100-1000m range, use only connectors with low back reflection, like the SC or LC.
Your Name, CFOT
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!
Two Founders Retire From FOA Board of Directors
Two of the FOA's founders and big - no gigantic - contributors to its success have retired from the Board of Directors. John Highouse of Lincoln Trail College and Doug Elliott have retired after 8 years on the Board.
John was a pioneer in FO education, running one of the most popular telecom FO training programs in the nation. John's course offered it all from climbing poles to fusion splicing. His background as an educator was invaluable in creating valid CFOT and CFOS exams and starting the FOA Train-The-Trainer program.
Doug got his start in FO by going to the inagural Fiber U in 1993 and becoming an instructor for Local 103 in Canada. He had a long history in electrical contracting as well as voice-data and brought all that experience to the FOA's work in premises cabling. He has been especialy helpful in developing our NECA/FOA installation standard.
We'll miss both these guys!
Become a Certified Fiber Optic Instructor
The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) is offering again this summer theTrain-the-Trainer program for teachers and instructors that leads to a new FOA CFOS/I Instructor Certification. This "first in the industry" program brings all the expertise of the Fiber Optic Association to the process of training and certifying fiber optic instructors, both in industry and in the academic world. In addition, those coming to the course will receive the FOA's complete training program for teaching a CFOT course.
Download the Train-The-Trainer Application (PDF file, 56kB)
For information or questions, contact Jim Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 1-760-451-3655.
Remember To Renew Your Membership !
Remember to renew your FOA membership
to retain your CFOT certification. If you forgot to renew, use
the online application
form or the
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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, 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 email@example.com with the subject "eMail List"
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