April, 2008
In This Issue
TIA Publishes Cat 6A Specs - Fiber Has Nothing To Worry About!
FTTH: Verizon Offers FiOS in Manhattan Apartments
Structured Cabling Market Mostly Fiber, Market Researcher Says
IBM Developing Fiber Connects Inside Computers
SCTE Developing RF Over Fiber Standard
FOA Offers FO Design Certification
Worth Reading: How To Tap Fiber, OTDRs, Cybercrime
Looking For Jobs - several this month. See Below
NEW: Sign up for the new FOA eMail Newsletter

The Archives: Previous Issues:
1/08, 2/08, 3/08
12/07, 11/07, 10/07, 09/07, 08/07, 07/07, 06/07, 05/07, 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

Looking For a FOA-Certified Fiber Optic Installer? Use the FOA Installer Database Free! CFOT's register online.

Augmented Category 6 Cabling Spec Published (Whew!)
On March 28, 2008, after 5 years of hard work, the TIA TR-42 committee published TIA-568-B.2-10, the supplemental specification for Cat 6A cabling systems. The document is a whopping 136 pages long, with 32 diagrams of test configurations, 57 tables of test specs, 2 graphs and 35 drawings of special test fixtures you need to make proper measurements. It also introduces some new acronyms like AACRF, ELTCTL and PSAACRF. It also says you need a new tester, defined as a Level IIIe tester, which seems to be priced around $6500-8000 plus several test adapters at around $400 each.
We all knew the copper folks could do it, but few of us expected it to take so long or require such a monumental standard specification. Perhaps they’ve done fiber a great favor, since you can simply specify OM3 fiber for your system and test its loss with testers that cost little more than the test adapters you need for Cat 6A!

Caveat Emptor*
We recently got an email from a sales representative of a major distributor promoting a newly-released fiber optic product. The product was a $295 Visual Fault Locator (VFL) that, according to the email, “Measures multimode fiber length and optical loss” and “Measures optical power and loss at 850 nm and 1300 nm using LED dual-wavelength sources.” Wow, that’s a lot for a $295 VFL that usually only has a visible red laser source and no measurement functions!  But, no, the sales person sending the email was mistaken, apologizing when I questioned their message. Probably read the promo materials for the wrong product!
But as fiber moves more into the mainstream, sales and marketing materials may be getting less trustworthy, as people ignorant of the technology write the promotional materials. We’ve seen similar misinformation in promotions for OTDRs recently.
*Buyer beware!

FTTH Goes "To Town," Manhattan In This Case
Verizon's FiOS service has been mainly focused on new subdivision and suburban upgrades, but now Verizon is headed to Manhattan. They have already started connection apartments in Styvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, the largest apartment complex in Manhattan with over 11,000 units in 110 buildings. Verizon is not bringing to every apartment, but will bring fiber into the building basement and use existing telephone wiring and coax for TV. More.

Structured Cabling Market Now More Fiber Than Copper
Frank Murawski of FTM Consulting released new data on fiber in structured cabling in its latest market research study.
On a global basis, the study‚s findings indicate that growth in fiber cabling will surpass growth in copper cabling during the next five years. In 2008, fiber cabling accounted for 52.7% of the total global SCS market. By 2013, it is expected that fiber cabling will account for 60.1% of the
total global market. (Wonder if that has something to do with the complexity of Cat 6A and the simplicity of fiber? ed)
Additional information on this study can be found at www.ftmconsultinginc.com

IBM Continues Developing Technology For Fiber Optics Inside Computers

Researchers at IBM recently announced a nanoscale silicon switch that can direct trillions of bits of data per second within an optical network. The switch could make it possible to incorporate the speed and bandwidth of a telecommunications network into a computer. More.

SCTE To Develop RF Over Fiber Optics Standards
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) recently launched development of a suite of technical industry standards to support wider use of optical fiber in the cable plant.
Focused on a technology called RF over Glass, the standards will enable cable systems to expand their use of optical fiber while continuing to deliver current cable services and technologies, including DOCSIS. More.

FOA Creates New Certification For “Fiber Optic Network Design”
Many FOA-approved schools intend to offer Design courses.
Read more.

Worth Reading:

How To Tap Fiber and How To Detect Tapping
We get an occasional call of how to tap fiber or detect tapping. A google search turns up this government document that tells you how to do it! http://www.ncs.gov/library/tech_bulletins/2000/tib_00-7.pdf

OTDR Innovation
OTDRs continue being developed to meet the needs of long haul and FTTx networks. Lightwave surveys the market.

Cybercrime - Not Just For Hackers Anymore?
Cybercrime sometimes is just industrial espionage, it seems. A company exec hacked a sales rep's computers, according to this news story.

Wanted: Users with older cable plants interested in testing them for bandwidth. Contact the FOA (info@thefoa.org.)

POF News

IGI Announces 2008 Update of the "POF Sourcebook" POF source book
A Unique Reference on the Plastic Optical Fiber Industry

POF Sourcebook" is more than just a compilation of companies and their POF products. The POF Sourcebook" is a true reference book for those interested in opportunities and competitive information on the POF market. It contains a range of materials on the industry, companies, contacts, research and development, products, and a whole lot more! Here are a few of types of information contained in the Sourcebook:

Companies with POF products
Companies that have exited the field and reasons why
New startups entering into the field
POF research at universities and organizations around the world
Key contacts in the POF field
POF publications
Major tradeshows in the field
History of developments in the POF field

These are just some of the types of information in the "POF Sourcebook". It should be of value to those in the industry to find partners and joint ventures, investors looking for new markets, companies looking to get into the POF business, consultants, Venture Capitalists,  Government and Organizations Promoting Optical Clusters, and others just wanting to keep an eye on the industry.

For further information and table of contents, see:

FOA Tech Topics - New Videos
We continue expanding the Tech Topics section and have added some videos. These videos, in a format familiar to the "You Tube" users among you, cover cable prep, termination with epoxy/polish connectors, mechanical splicing and insertion loss testing.
You need Quicktime to view these videos which you can download free here from the Apple website.
If you know of other videos (especially manufacturer training videos) that we might be able to get permission to include here, let us know.

A Valid Question On The OM3 Fiber System
An instructors at one of the FOA-Approved schools had an interesting question on the OM3 standard. He wanted to know if connectors and panel-mounted mating adapters should be color coded aqua too. Well, certainly they should, but connector manufacturers are reluctant to produce yet another colored connector.
For ages, beige connectors were multimode, blue singlemode and green singlemode APC. In today's cable plants, beige is already used for both 50 and 62.5 fiber. Obviously any connector on an aqua cable is going to be OM3. In the past, we've had all metal connectors (e.g. ST, FC) that could not be colored and color-coded individual fibers in a distribution cable, so strain relief boots were made in colors for identification.
For ST connectors, in particular, several manufacturers made colored stickers to put around the mating adapters on patch panels, a good solution to identify the fibers terminated at that position.
Read the whole story about OM3 Cabling in The November FOA Newsletter

FTTH Notes:
Fiber To The Home Connections Jump To Nearly Three Million, Nearly Double Year Last Year

RVA Market Research (www.rvallc.com), says that as of Spring, 2008, there are now 2.91 million homes connected via end-to-end fiber, compared to 1.48 million connections as of April 2007, for an annual growth rate of 97 percent - indicating that the number of FTTH connections continues to almost double annually. 

The study also shows fiber to the home networks now passing 11.8 million North American homes, up from 8 million a year ago, and that the overall "take rate" - the percentage of those offered FTTH service who decide to subscribe - went up for the fourth straight six-month period. In addition, the number of households receiving video services over their FTTH connections continues to increase sharply, with more than 1.6 million homes using video-enabled FTTH.

The study showed that Verizon, having committed more than $20 billion to deploying its FiOS FTTH service, continues to set the pace in the number of connections, with more than 70 percent of the North American total.  However, the study also showed growth in the number of subscribers reported by other FTTH service providers, including small and medium sized telephone companies, municipal governments, developers of planned residential communities and cable television companies.
What's AT&T up to?
The FOA was contacted by a reporter in Ohio regarding AT&T's local plans for FTTH and U-Verse Internet TV service. Read the story here.
Verizon FiOS
FiOS Rollout In Philadelphia
From the Philly.com web journal.
Verizon is now deploying GPON in its network in new developments in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas. GPON offers more bandwidth than the BPON currently used, allowing more features for FiOS TV for example. See this Lightwave article for more info. 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.

End Users Need Advice Too
Most technical information on fiber optics seems to be aimed at installers, but at the FOA we get lots of phone calls from end users. Often they are confused and want advice: Should they use fiber or copper? What components should they choose (and why?) What does a fiber optic system design require? Can they install fiber themselves or should they hire a contractor? How do they find a contractor? What should the contract with the contractor include? What are the requirements for testing and documenting a network? And sometimes, we get a fiber optic network user who asks "My system is down? What can I do?"
Well the FOA has started addressing the needs of the end user. A new section of the FOA website will be devoted to the end user, trying to cover all these questions and more - as the users call us to ask.
Don't assume the information is just for users, not installers, contractors and consultants. It's information you need to be familiar with also, and we'd suggest you tell all your customers about it, as it will help explain fiber optics in terms they will understand and help you and them communicate about fiber optic projects.

The Fiber Optic Association User's Guide To Fiber Optic System Design and Installation


Installing Fiber Optics? Have You Seen These?
We get lots of calls here at the FOA looking for advice. Many are from people unfamiliar with fiber optics who are planning an installation, having an installation done or testing and troubleshooting problems. To answer these questions, we have created a standard on installation, NECA/FOA-301 and three Tech Bulletins for users and installers. These, plus all the information in our "Tech Topics" section, will answer many of your questions. It's where most of our callers are sent for detailed explanations they can print and distribute to interested parties.

 Digging Safely

The old story (not a joke!) about the most likely fiber optic communications system failure being caused by "backhoe fade" reminds us that digging safely is vitally important. The risk is not just interrupting communications, but the life-threatening risk of digging up high voltage or gas lines.

There is a website called "Common Ground Alliance" that focuses directly on this issue. Here is how they describe themselves:

Damage Prevention is a Shared Responsibility
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices.    In recent years, the association has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to all underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders.

Of special interest is their "Best Practices" Manual, available for downloading. If you do OSP installs, please get yourself a copy and read it.


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

See www.call811.com for more information

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

Home Tech - Needed To Take Advantage of FTTH

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.

 FOA & SCA Helps California Homebuilders Understand High Tech Homes

The FOA and Structured Cabling Association are combined forces to discuss how broadband connections like FTTH requires new thinking from homebuilders on how homes should be designed and built to provide high speed connections inside the home so the family can take advantage of all that broadband offers. The presentation was part of the Building Industry Show educational program sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Southern California.
Even with home sales in a slump, a good group came to hear Jim Hayes discuss why high tech cabling offers a way for builders to makes homes more attractive to buyers and more profitable. It also offers great job opportunities for cabling installers and contractors.
Want to see the presentation? Go here.

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! http://lw.pennnet.com/whitepapers/wp.cfm?id=665
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: http://www.westoverfiber.com/Support/downloads.php
ADC's Book On FTTx
ADC has an excellend book on FTTx. Here is a link to request a copy: http://www.adc.com/productsandservices/productsolutions/fttp/book/index.jsp

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
New Videos! Here
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?

Job Openings


The client is a leader in Fiber Optics product manufacturing.  They are well established, profitable and experiencing significant growth.  They are dedicated to providing total manufacturing solutions for fiber optic cabling systems to the telecommunications industry that requires Telcordia standards.  They are in need of an experienced and successful Sales Representative from the Fiber Optics market who is looking for THE right career move.  The company is currently enjoying significant growth.  If you are looking for a great opportunity and have the skills to help drive growth and success, you should explore this opportunity.

For more information, please contact: al@bratlandcareers.com or  terri@bratlandcareers.com.

Or, send a resume / cover letter to: resumes@bratlandcareers.com.

APPLY ONLINE directly here.



Looking for two individuals or two staff from a private firm for inside premise (ISP) install of CAT6 and Fiber Optic cables. The primary site is a large data center with adjacent offices, all currently under construction. Desire individuals with BICSI or FOA certifications,  industry certifications or equivalent experience. Experience with testing CAT5/6 and Fiber desired. This will be a six-month assignment in a safe and friendly foreign country with living conditions equal to the US. All travel and relocation expenses paid. Housing in two-bedroom furnished townhouse close to work site. Cell phone, Internet, cable TV, utilities, medical insurance and vehicle provided. Salary in US dollars with a bonus at completion of project. Employer is a large multinational design and build firm. Desire US installation and NEC code experience.

Please send contact information along with resume or qualifications to:

Kevin Love, <mailto:admin@aasda.com>admin@aasda.com

Two Regional Sales Manager positions, East and West Coast
Job #: pjk04012008B

Industry: Structured Cable
Base salary begins: $50,000 (negotiable depending upon experience)

An organization in the wire and cable industry will be launching a new branch in the summer and they are currently seeking a Regional Sales Manager to cover the western territories and one to cover the eastern territories.
The Regional Sales Manager for the Western region will need to be based in Los Angeles County (or thereabouts). 
The location for the Regional Sales Manager for the Eastern Region is open.  Due to the heavy amount of travel, however, living within reasonable driving distance to a major airport is preferred.

Those with extensive experience selling structured cable are preferred.
A minimum of three-to-five years in electrical or mechanical commercial products thru distribution channels.
A Bachelors degree in Business or Electrical Engineering, or equivalent experience
IF FULLY QUALIFIED, please respond to: Patrick J. Kerrison
Phone Nos.: 800-979-8701 x1169
or 503-287-8701 x1169
or my direct line: 503-290-1169
E-Mail: pkerrison@mrportland.com
Please visit my company’s website at: http://www.mrportland.com

Fiber Optic Connector company based in Hickory, N.C. is currently recruiting for an Applications Engineer,  a Product Development Engineer, and a Business Development person.
Applications engineer must have 3-5 years in Fiber Optics, a Bachelor's degree in a technical discipline, excellent communications  and statistical analysis skills.
Product Development engineer must have 3-5 years technical experience preferable in fiber optics/connectors, a Bachelor's degree in engineering, and CAD skills.
Business Development Specialist must have 3-5 years in a technical role, a technically based Bachelor's degree, and a desire to transition to a role working closely with the customer, product management, and business/market development.
Interested candidates should submit their resume, references, and salary requirements to davidturman@earthlink.net.

Verizon: Fiber Network Field Technician (Outside Field Technician)
Openings in the following areas: CA, TX, WA, OR, VA, MA, NJ, RI
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 https://www22.verizon.com/about/careers/fiberjobs.html 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! 


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


Tech Puzzler
Recognize these gadgets?, see below.
 Hybrid Adapters
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. (http://www.scausa.org/) 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 Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 23,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 200 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 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 http://www.thefoa.org/foa_aprv.htm.


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, California 92028 USA
Office Hours 10AM-5 PM Pacific Time, Monday to Friday
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)1999-2008, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler:
These are hybrid mating adapters for 2.5 mm ferrule connectors. From the left: ST-FC, SC-FC, SC-ST. See the connector ID page on Tech Topics.
See the Lennie Lightwave for a complete tutorial and more.