August, 2007

In This Issue
Industrial Fiber Optics
Municipal Networks - Is WiFi The Solution?
Nanotech Makes Infrared LEDs
Eight Lessons Learned From FTTx Communities
Dig Safely - It's Important
Looking For a Fiber Optic Installer? CFOT's should register online. Use the FOA Installer Database Free!
Looking For Jobs - several this month. See Below
New Tech Topics: Why are there 4 ways (maybe 5) to test fiber ? (PDF) How do you clean connections?
Tech Puzzler - test your fiber knowledge!

NEW: Sign up for the new FOA eMail Newsletter

The Archives: Previous Issues: 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

FOA & President Jim Hayes Recognized For Contributions To FTTx
FOA President Jim Hayes and the FOA have been recognized for their efforts to promote FTTx, particularly in the multi-dwelling unit (MDU) market by Broadband Properties magazine. The importance of our work promoting FTTx education and recruitment through our certifications, online programs and FTTx Summits was recognized by BBP. Read the article.

Minicipal WiFi Not Fulfilling Promises (or Hype)

Many cities have been considering (or are already implementing) municipal WiFi networks. A recent independent survey of municipalities by the International Economic Development Council, which you can download and read for yourself, is much less optimistic about the benefits of municipal WiFi and underscores the lack of understanding among municipal implementers regarding the technical and support issues. One of the major conclusions is that wired networks have a much greater impact on attracting, retaining and improving businesses in the area. But an even more important conclusion is municipalities "definitely don't understand the amount of support services, training, etc. needed for the technology to produce meaningful impact."

That last statement could also be relevant for those municipalities considering creating their own FTTx programs. Our work with Verizon indicates that they have learned that installing fiber optics is only a small part of the whole program. Their recruitment focuses more on technical expertise in installing and providing services at the home and CO and providing technical support to the users.

Our conclusion from reading this report is that municipal networks need both wireless and landline connections, with the landline being the primary conduit for businesses and homes (especially if they want video-capable bandwidth) and wireless provided for the convenience of mobile users and visitors.

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.

8 Lessons Learned From FTTH Systems (from Lightwave)
Now more than 1,000 communities with over 1,000,000 subscribers have FTTH installed. Over 6,000,000 homes have been passed and more subscribers will sign up as new services are offered. What have we learned, not only technically but in terms of markets and subscriber wants and needs? Lightwave has an interesting article online that talks about bundling services, branding, and the effects of the housing market downturn. Read More.


More Verizon FTTx News

FTTx Paying Off For Verizon
"The fiber-optic broadband service, FiOS, added 203,000 subscribers in the quarter for a total of 1.1 million. Of those, 515,000 were also signed up to get TV through the fiber, a tenfold increase from a year ago.
For the first time, Verizon signed up more subscribers to get broadband Internet service through FiOS than through the copper lines for DSL, or digital subscriber line. It added just 85,000 DSL subscribers, down from 239,000 in the first quarter. ''Frankly, we weren't as focused as we used to be on DSL for the quarter,'' Strigl said. ''We have taken a lot of the technicians and the service reps that used to work DSL and tried to quickly get them up to speed on FiOS.'' Strigl said the company aims to get DSL customer recruitment numbers back up.

Verizon Interviewed about FiOS TV on Cable360net.

FiOS Pays Off Better Than Expected (ZDnet)

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.

Nanotech Continues Developing Components Useful For Optical Communications

Researchers at IBM in Yorktown Heights, MY have developed a new type of nanowire LED that is both more efficient and emits in the infrared region needed for fiber optic communications. The wire is only 0.1 micron in diameter and 10 microns long; the length about the diameter of the core of singlemode fiber. The devices show some laser characteristics and one unique feature, they emit more light as temperature rises, not less as with semiconductor LEDs. The devices are small enough to incorporate in chips to allow speeding up on-chip signals, a big problem today with electrical signals getting too fast for semiconductors. Read More.

 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 for more information


Air-Blown Fiber Finally Recognized In International Standard

Air-blown fiber has been around for a long time, but has not been widely used in place of conventional cables, in part perhaps, because it was seen as a proprietary, non-stnadard, solution to installing fiber. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published the first blown fiber standard, IEC 60794-5. One obstacle for blown fiber use has been the lack of a recognized standard for components, installation and testing. With publication of this standard, it may become more acceptable to end users wary of proprietary solutions. Read More. Here is an explanation on it's use from Emtelle.

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.





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:

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
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?


Bob Ballard of FOA-Approved School BDI Datalink has a neat website with some good technical content. Be sure to pay particular attention to these pages: and

Like Good Technical Videos? Try NECA/IBEW/JATC's Electric TV.

Job Openings

Job Title: Sales Engineer

Technical degree in EE, Physics or equivalent with a minimum of 3+ years technical sales experience in the photonics industry.   The successful candidate will be responsible for managing the process of selling StockerYale Specialty Optical Fiber into strategic accounts. Responsibilities include identifying and winning new opportunities and increasing business within the existing account base. Developing accurate sales forecasts, meeting revenue objectives and working closely with the product management team will be essential.  

If anyone is interested in this position please contact:

Paul Jortberg
32 Hampshire Road
Salem, NH 03079
Tel: (603) 870-8274
Fax: (603) 893-5604
Email: <>

Senior Quality Engineer - Fiber Connectivity Solutions
Location:Midwest USA
Our client is a leading public global equipment supplier that offers high-quality, value-added solutions of network equipment, software and systems integration services to telecommunications, cable television, broadcast, wireless, and enterprise networks. Their products enable the delivery of high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services to consumers and industry. Their products perform critical functions that ensure the quality and reliability of broadband networks throughout the globe.
Our client is a multi product company commanding significant market share with a strong balance sheet to invest in products and markets.
About The Position:
Common Agenda has been entrusted to conduct a search for an exceptional Senior Quality Engineer. The Senior Quality Engineer will provide product testing assistance to the Global Connectivity Solutions organization. This person will develop, implement and continually improve product evaluation methods. In addition, this person will assure new product designs and processes, or re-designed products and processes meet or exceed customer and company quality expectations. This individual will ensure that product design documentation complies with internal and external customer requirements. The Senior Quality Engineer will also lead quality improvement efforts by forming and facilitating improvement teams.
Responsibilities will include the following:
- Utilize expertise in product testing to provide solutions to testing needs. If necessary purchase equipment, write software, design fixturing, and develop new test methods to meet needs.
- Develop, maintain and improve general lab data acquisition, data analysis, and test method capabilities.
- Participate in product development team efforts.
- Lead quality improvement efforts by identifying opportunities, and then forming and facilitating improvement teams.
- Apply advanced methods to improve quality and reliability data analysis where appropriate.
- Pursue self-development through advanced training in fiber optics, quality, reliability, measurement, inspection, manufacturing, and other specific product and industry technologies relevant to the job.
- Perform basic budgeting, scheduling and personnel tasks as requested by the manager.
- Bachelor degree in engineering.
- Broad technical knowledge within applicable areas of expertise including product applications and basic market knowledge.
- Minimum of 10 years of engineering experience.
- Experience with fiber optics and fiber optic test equipment.
- Familiarity with standards such as Telcordia GR-326 for fiber optic connectors, GR-1209 for passive optical components, GR-20 and 409 for optical fiber and cable, and EIA/TIA fiber optic test procedures.
- Programming experience with Visual Basic and LabView.
- Local, out-of-state, and international travel may be required infrequently

Please refer to Job Number: 2639
Contact: Diane L. McGrath
(732) 223-7114 Ext. 109
617 Union Avenue · PO Box 711 · Brielle, NJ 08730 · Ph. (732) 223-7114 · Fax: (732) 223-7116

Fiber Contractors / Installers, Saudia Arabia
Looking for a strong outside plant contracting company, especially in the fiber optic cables installation (Long Distance and Fiber to Home), to team with our company for a large projects in Saudi Arabia .
International Tech for Communications Co. Ltd (ITCC)
Adnan Jarrouj - GM
Mobile: +966-50-183 6163
TL : +966 -1- 465 7295
Fax: +966-1- 464-4338

Fiber Optics And Photonics Technicians, Woburn, MA
Agiltron, a fast growing optical components and sensors company, has a dozen
positions to be filled in the coming months, due to new design wins and
business organic expansion.
The expertise sought after:
1. Optical MEMS design and processing
2. Electronics and control firmware
3. Imaging processing
4. Optical engineering
5. Radar
6. Microwave photonics
7. RF electronics
9. Fiberoptics

Please send resume to <>

ADC Looking For CO Techs
DC Power Installers and Equipment Installer Level III Candidates. We are looking for individuals who have proven success working in a Central Office environment. Candidates should have the ability to lead others and to travel extensively.
We are currently looking for a Central Office Equipment Installer, level III for Newark, N.J and surrounding areas.
Equipment Installers are responsible for the installation of equipment used in voice, video, fiber optics and data telecommunications networks. Level III Installers also, analyze, plan, layout and assign installation activity to other installation personnel. Act as subject matter expert on provisioning, activating and testing ADC and OEM electronic equipment.

We are currently looking for DC Power Equipment Installers, Level IV to cover installation projects in the Northeastern part of the country. DC Power Equipment Installers are responsible for the installation of equipment such as batteries, rectifiers, PBD's, BDFB's and associated infrastructure used in telecommunications networks. Analyze, plan, layout and assign installation activity to other installation personnel. Act as subject matter expert on provisioning, activating and testing 24 and 48 volt DC electronic equipment. Candidates should have experience programming DGU(s), LMS(s), Milleniums, Galaxy(s)s, etc.
Candidates are invited to post their resumes on our web site, Once there, Candidates can view open jobs and apply to them by clicking on the "careers" link. 
Kevin Geathers,
Sr. Staffing Specialist
ADC Telecommunications
1-800-833-8843 x 6317

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 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! 

Cable Splicing Technicians-Multiple Locations
API Systems has been in business since 1992 and has fostered long lasting relationships amongst various Fortune clients, cutting edge technology companies and government clients. At this time, we have openings for Cable Splicing Technicians for a 6 month project in multiple locations. If interested, please review below and contact me for more information.
Makes and completes splices in various types of communication cables;
Makes rearrangements in existing splices of such cables
Cuts in cable terminals
Makes cable terminations
Tests, locates and corrects faults in such splices and cables when required
Places cable and terminals when required
Prepares records and reports as required
Does other preventive and corrective cable maintenance work, etc.

Training provided if necessary

Locations available:
All locations in Texas
Kansas (Topeka, Wichita)
Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma City)
Missouri (St. Louis, Raytown, Springfield, Joplin)
Arkansas (Little Rock, Hope, Warren, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Batesville, Jonesboro)

Duration: 6 months

Steve Colavito
PI Systems, Inc.
| Ph: 973 328 3328 x 246 | Cell: 732 996 4305 | Fax: 973 328 3371 |
| 3117 Route 10 East Denville NJ 07834 | |
About API Systems, Inc.:
Founded in 1992, API Systems is an IT Services Company offering our expertise to various well known, quality-driven clients nationwide. With global capabilities, API is devoted to promoting increased profitability and productivity through the efficient use of IT.
Award Winning Solution Provider
·          IT Infrastructure
·          Audio Video and Content Delivery
·          Application Development and Maintenance
·          Staffing and Project Services

Technical Personnel Available -Experienced In Manufacturing Fiber Optic Components and Systems
Northrop Grumman decided to close its Fibersense Technology facility in Canton, MA . The facility employs 160 people, producing Fiber Optics Gyroscopes. Fiber optic gyro is made of state of the art PM fibers, phase modulators, splitters, light sources (fiber and diode sources), receivers,
with advanced packaging and electronics implementation. The hardware and production line are being transferred to the west coast plants. This phase-out started already, and the tentative closure is by July.

Expert resources are available and looking for alternative employment in Massachusetts:
Optical technicians
Fiber optics sensor assembly technicians
Electrical technicians
Photonic R &D technician
All categories of engineers 

If you have an interest in any of the above, please send me e mail and I will ask the relevant people to contact you.

Ram Yahalom
R & D Manager
Northrop Grumman - Navigation System Division
Canton, MA
781-232-2225 (w)

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


Tech Puzzler
How many different ways are there to set a "0 dB" reference for insertion loss testing? For the answer, see below.
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.

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.

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 20,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 160 schools as the FOA enters its 12th 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 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


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, 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!

Return to The FOA Home Page

(C)1999-2007, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler:

There are three ways to set a "0 dB" reference for insertion loss testing in order to accomodate the different connectors on cables, patchcords and test equipment. For example, if all connectors are SCs, a single cable reference (OFSTP-14, Method B) works. If you are testing a plug and jack connector like a MT-RJ or FiberJack, you probably will have to use a 3 cable reference (OFSTP-14, Method C). Test sets with different connectors from the cable plant, say LCs in the cable plant, can use a 2 cable refrerence. (OFSTP-14, Method A). All three methods are generally acceptable as long as the method is documented, as the results differ. See this for more info.

See the Lennie Lightwave for a complete tutorial on OTDRs and more.