August, 2006

Looking For a Fiber Optic Installer?
Use the FOA Installer Database Free!
CFOTs - Register Now On The FOA Searchable Database of Installers, Contractors and Consultants. Go to the FOA Installer Database to register. Looking For Jobs? See Below

Previous Issues: 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

New Hampshire College Holds First FOA FTTx Certification Class
Dave Miller, CFOS/I, Professor at New Hampshire Community Technical College at Pease (the ex Air Force Base) recently held the first FOA FTTx certification class and his students became the first FOA CFxT techs. Congratulations to all involved, especially Dave, a dynamic instructor along the lines of "Mr. Wizard" who amazed and amused all his fellow students while attending the first FOA Instructor Certification Course in 2002 with his fabulous classroom demos.
The FOA is providing schools with material for their FTTx curriculum, since the 3rd Edition of The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual contains only a brief mention of FTTx, as it has developed, no exploded, in the last year. The CFxT exam has now been reveiwed by many instructors and vendros and has been tested by Dave Miller's students. The exam passed with flying colors, so we at the FOA consider our CFxT program officially launched.
Watch for more schools offering this program this fall.

A New Portable Interferometer & Why You Might Need One If You Are Installing Singlemode
In a recent train-the-trainer class, we had 16 instructors who were active installers and contractors themselves. 30% of them had already done singlemode installations including field terminations. All had different interpretations of what doing SM in the field required. None really understood completely the need for special polishing film, using a polishing slurry, and polishing for low relfectance as well as low loss.
All these practices are carefully followed by factories making SM patchcords, as their customers spec both loss and reflectance. They also inspect the connectors not only for end polish but end profile, as the shape of the connector ferrule determines how well connectors mate with each other and that is a big part of what determines reflectance.
One of the best inspection tools for SM connectors is a gadget called an "interferometer" that actually shows the profile of the end of the connector. Typically an interferometer shows several views, one with the "fringes" or circular shadows shows the consistency and alignment of the dome shape of the ferrule, as the perfect connector would have them centered onthe ferrule and they would be perfect circles. Note in the photo below, the fringes are considerably offset from the fiber. The 3D view is easier to understand - it shows the shape in 3 dimensions that can show the scratches, dirt, undercutting of the fiber (as in this example), etc.Fiber Optic Interferometer
Fiber Optic InterferometerFiber Optic Interferometer
While factories making patchcords routinely use interferometers, field installers don't. But if you want to get really good SM terminations, it's the only way to determine how well you do. The new FiBO interferometer by Promet is indeed portable and works with a PC for data analysis and readout instead of a video monitor to reduce bulk and cost.
Installers doing lots of SM might want to have one. Generally SM is field terminated by fusion splicing pigtails onto the installed cable, as good field termination is difficult and mistakes can be both hard to find and expensive to fix.
We're looking for more information on using a interferometer, especially in the field, and we'll share it with you.
Photos furnished by Promet, manufacturers of the FiBO portable interferometer.

Special Offers On Equipment, FTTx Backgroung Materials and T-Shirts From Mississauga Training Consultants

FOA T-Shirts: Mediun, Large and Extra Large only. And all are white and 9oz cotton.

400 X microscopes and at a discounted price of 140.00 US while supplies last.

The FTTX text by Mississauga Training is complete and ready for sale. It is about 100 pages with lots of pictures.

VISA and MCard accepted.

If you are looking for an odd item for your show and tel in your class let me know. I probably have it and can help you.
We can give a quantity discount to FOA approved schools

William Graham, CFOS
Mississauga Training Consultants
6117 Clover Ridge Crescent
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5N 7B2
e-mail: <>
Tel: 905-785-8012

FOA Textbook published in Spanish
The FOA's textbook, The Fiber Optic Technicians Manual, is used by our approved schools around the world to teach fiber optics.
Now we have our textbook in Spanish, we have also translated our CFOT exams and will have other FOA materials available in Spanish soon, greatly facilitating the training of fiber optic technicians in Spanish-speaking countries.
Contact us if you need more information.
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.

Verizon Selling FiOS At Shopping Centers - And Other Venues
(As an update to the following, which ran in last month's newsletters, Verizon FiOS booths have been spotted at more venues around the country - Boston, DC and even at a Bluegrass Festival in Temecula, CA!)
While on a recent visit to Boston, we ran across a Verizon FiOS kiosk at the Burlington Mall shopping center. It had several computers connected on FIOS and knowledgeable personnel manning the kiosk. Literature (right) explained FiOS technology and services well. According to the signs in the kiosk, FiOS service is available in over 35 towns in the Boston suburbs, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
What's a FiOS install like? See Dan Bricklin's description at
Trivia: Who is Dan Bricklin? He's the guy who co-developed "Visicalc," the first PC spreadsheet and the "killer ap" that led to the widespread adoption of PCs by business!
More Trivia: What does "FIOS" mean? FIber Optic Service? According to Wikipedia, Verizon's Trademark (No. 3001081) application says FiOS is a Gaelic word for "knowledge".

NEW-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 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.

FTTH Conference To Be Held In October
The 2006 FTTH Conference & Expo will be held in Las Vegas at The Venetian Resort · Hotel · Casino on October 2 ­ 5, 2006. As usual, the FTTH Council will have many informative technical sessions and a lively trade show.

The 2006 FTTH Conference & Expo will attract over 2,500 FTTH leaders and decision makers from across North America, Europe and Asia to hear keynotes from industry visionaries, learn from over 50 track sessions and meet with 170 exhibitors representing the latest services and technologies.

Hiromichi Shinohara, Director of NTT Access Network Service Systems Labs, will open the conference on October 3rd. Mr. Shinohara has been engaged in research and development of fiber optic cables, broadband networks and optical access systems since joining NTT Laboratories in 1978. The conference lineup of keynotes also include Robert (Bob) Ingalls, President of Verizon,s Retail Markets Group, Jeffrey Weber, Vice President, Product & Strategy, AT&T and featured speaker Jim Carroll, futurist, trends and innovation expert.

Lightwave/KMI Executive Briefing (preconference): The Market Dynamics of FTTX and Video Service Provision
This Executive Briefing will examine the dynamics of today,s FTTX market, particularly as it relates to the provision of video services. The briefing will examine the demand and technical requirements for various video services; explore consumer perceptions of video services, including who provides them and how they are provided; highlight how current and future equipment and architecture choices can affect video service delivery (and vice versa); and provide examples of how carriers have implemented video services via their optical access networks. Speakers will include market researchers and analysts and representatives of the service provider and vendor communities
Don't miss the premier FTTH event of the year. See for more details and online registration.

Job Openings

Multimax has full time employment and subcontracting openings to help integrate and modernize the FAA's telecommunications network. We provide CPE maintenance and support to numerous mission-critical FAA sites and through field maintenance in support of FAA locations dispersed throughout all 50 states. We are seeking:

Familiarity with cable connectors and replacement, (RJ-11, RJ-45, DB-25, V.35, RS-449)
Familiarity with Fiber, Multiplexers, Network topology, Frame Relay, Fractional T-1, SONET, ATM, Private Line, Voice & Data apps
Experience with network and circuit testing with T1 Testing Specifications, DS3 Testing, Digital Testing (BERT), and Analog VG Testing

Contact for more information on either FTE or subcontracting opportunities with Multimax. Learn more about us at

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

Tech Puzzler
What connector is this? We're going to run a few months of having you try to identify fiber optic connectors, some common, some obscure. Recognize this one? It's still used in some process control and military applications. Why are there two versions?
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. ( 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.

New: 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 CFOT Renewals Get Free Copy of NECA/FOA Installation Standard
Every CFOT renewal will now receive a free copy of NECA 301-2004, Installing And Testing Fiber Optic Cables, produced by The FOA in cooperation with NECA (The National Electrical Contractors Association). This is an important reference document for defining the installation and testing of fiber optic cable plants in a "neat and workmanlike manner."
The FOA feels this is such an important document that we are giving a free copy (normally priced at $15) to every active CFOT when they renew their active status.
The FOA has also sent free copies to all FOA-Approved schools. The new FOA CFOT exam to be used after August, 2005, will include questions from the standard. Schools should be including information from the standard in their classes already.


New Tech Topics

FOA Tech Bulletins - for those designing FO communications products or installing cable plants.
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 print and use.
Designing and manufacturing fiber optic communications products for manufacturers.
Choosing, installing and using fiber optic products for users.
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communcations systems.


Does Glass "Flow"? Is it really a liquid?


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on General Topics and Testing

Fiber Or Copper? Making decisions, overview and LANs

What Happens When You Mate Mismatched MM Fibers?

New PowerPoint Presentation Introduces Fiber Optics - in English or Spanish!
The FOA has created a short PowerPoint presentation that introduces you to fiber optics and talks about job opportunities in the field. It was intended for instructors to introdcue studnets to the field, but it's a good introduction for anyone. It's about 3 meg file so it takes a while to download and you need PowerPoint to view it. See

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 15,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 120 schools as the FOA completed its 10th year. 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 125+ organizations, welcoming new additions like the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Corning Cable Systems for their installation training programs and NASA's Goldstone Tracking Station. The complete list of FOA-Approved schools is at



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!


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

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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(C)1999-2006, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler: MT
The MT or MTP is a 12 fiber connector for ribbon cable. It's main use is for preterminated cable assemblies and cabling systems. Here is a 12 fiber MT broken out into 12 STs.. See the FOA Tech Topics Connector ID page.