, 2011

In This Issue
Fiber U @ OSP Expo - Don't Miss It
4 New YouTube Lectures on Installation and Design
"Gig U" Wants To Bring Gigabit Broadband to Communities
FOA iPad App Now Available
Update Report on Broadband in America
Fiber U at OSP Show in September
Fiber U Training Conference For Africa?

4 New FOA YouTube Videos!

New @ FOA  
FOA Corporate Memberships  
Fiber U - two new free online self-study courses
Publications: NECA/FOA 301 Installation Revised, eBooks
videos: New FOA Lecture Series - 11 lessons online already!
Online Reference Guide: Many new pages 
Tech Topics: More online information
Certification: New FOA OSP Certification
FOA Schools
New schools and programs, Training in Hawaii

FOA Jobs Web Site  

Jobs- OSP Techs in Southeast US and New England, Fiber Construction Consultants for a Michigan Healthcare Network and 2 new jobs in Sales/Marketing- Also see FOA Jobs Web Page and FOA on FOA on LinkedIn
Events: Conferences and Shows of Interest To Fiber Techs  
Fiber U is back - at the OSP Expo, maybe Africa next year
AFL to Host "Traveling" Advanced Splicing Seminars
Free Corning "See the Light" Seminars

Q&A: Large number of good questions this month, e.g. IR/UV Eye Protection

Product News - New Corning Unicam Cleaver, Protecting Pedestals From Rodents

Worth Reading:  More interesting things we've read (and videos we've seen.)
This Month's "Tech Puzzler
Fiber Optic Safety Poster to download and print

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You can also sign up from your cell phone: text "FOA" to 22828 (usual text charges apply)

The Archives: Previous Issues:
1/11,  2/11,  3/11,  4/11,  6/11, 7/11,  
1/10,  2/10, 3/10,  4/10,   05/10,  07/10, 08/10,  09/10,  10/10, 11/10 
1/09,  2/09,  3/09, 04/09,  05/09,  07/09, 08/09, 09/09, 10/09, 11/09,  12/09
1/08, 2/08, 3/08, 4/08, 5/08,  6/08, 7/08, 8/08, 09/0810/08, 11/08,  12/08  
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
Current Issue of FOA Newsletter

It's now CFOT®  and Fiber U® The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) and Fiber U® (the FOA online self-study program) are now a registered trademark. With over 33,000 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 and Fiber U required trademark protection. Now it's official!

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

New FOA Reference Books 

(Available Printed or eBooks)
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book  FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book  FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book

FOA Videos Now on videos

FOA Home Page
Contact the FOA  

Renew your FOA certification online - plus get a discount coupon for the new FOA books and get an extra month free. Details here.
Find us on Facebook            FOA on LinkedIn       videos

Last Month In The FOA Newsletter:
  • Encircled Flux in Flux
  • More Ways To Spot Counterfeit Cable (updated)
  • Update Report on Broadband in America
We covered these important topics in detail last month. If you missed them, you can read the articles in the archived July FOA Newsletter.

Add it to your calendar, September 13-14, 2011:
Fiber U at OSP EXPO

Fiber U Returns @ OSP EXPO

Some of you may remember the famous "Fiber U" training conferences of the 1990s where dozens of vendors and hundreds of students converged for a week-long training conference. Now Fiber U is part of the FOA. This year we've been invited to work with OSP magazine to present seminars at their annual conference. We'll have sessions on Fiber Optics in SmartGrid, Fiber for Wireless and Gigabit FTTH.

Here is complete information on Fiber U at OSP EXPO  

OSP EXPO, September 13-14, 2011 will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Fiber U@ OSP Expo

Four New Lectures on videos Covering Fiber Optic Installation and Design

FOA YouTube Lecture 11 - Fiber Optic Network Design

Four new lectures in our series on fiber optics are now online. Lecture 8 covers fiber optic network installation. Lectures 9-10-11 cover fiber optic network design, with Lecture 9 being an overview, Lecture 10 covering planning the network and Lecture 11 choosing fiber optic components.
Lecture 12 will start a new series on fiber optic testing.

View the FOA YouTube video Lectures.  

Are You In The South Pacific? Want To Meet The FOA?
After our enthusiastic reception in Turkey and Africa, we've had invitations to visit other areas. Right now, we are considering a trip to the South Pacific area - Australia, NZ, Malaysia and Singapore. If you are interested in attending the FOA "State of Fiber Optics" seminar and meeting FOA personnel, let us know - email to

Fiber U Training Conference For Africa?

The current FOA schools in Africa (
Triple Play Fibre Optic Solutions in SA,  African eDevelopment Resource Centre in Nairobi and  ICT Resources Center in Lusaka) are actively training workers needed to expand communications in Africa. To assist their efforts, the FOA is looking at the possibility of a "Fiber U for Africa" in 2012, a major training conference that would bring experts and manufacturers from around the world to Africa to train workers on the latest technologies. Stay tuned.
Click here for more photos of the FOA Seminars in Africa in May 2011  
Download the FOA Presentation from the Africa Seminars (PDF, 15 MB)

FIrst Google, now "Gig U" Wants To Bring Gigabit Broadband to Communities
A group of US Universities has started an organization to encourage the development of high speed (gigabit) Internet access in their communities. They understand that the university can stimulate development in its community, but unless the community has the infrastructure - including communications - to support development, it won't develop. So these colleges have ganged up to promote the development of broadband. Read more at


The 10 Most Bizarre and Annoying Causes of Fiber Cuts, From Level 3 Communications
This Level 3 blog by Fred Lawler is a good read for all network owners as well as installers. Over the years, we've covered some pretty "funny" stories about fiber cuts, some of which rival Fred's examples, like the woodpecker that damaged cables in the same small town of the FOA headquarters or the restoration of a 150 foot-hgh cables cut by a helicopter. But the Level 3 blog covers some pretty wild examples complete with photos. Read the Level 3 Blog here:  

fiber optic cable cuts

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

See for more information

 "Tech Puzzler"
Is Back This Month!

FOA iPad App Now Available

FOA iPad App
The FOA has just released its first APP for the iPad, a self-study version of the FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics.
The FOA APP builds on the FOA basic fiber optic textbook to create an interactive learning environment that builds on the iBook electronic version of the book to add a guide to use for self-study and real-time testing that provides feedback on what you have learned and correct answers to questions answered incorrectly.
The FOA APP is priced at only $9.99, same as the iBook, so the self-study program is free. Download it from the Apple APP Store with your
iPad or iTunes.

Draka And VI Systems Products Used For 12.5 Gbit/s Over 1 km of Multimode
You read that right - 1 km of multimode fiber. This is the LAN equivalent of the thousands of km at terabits/s "hero experiments" we hear about from the telecom equipment companies all the time. In this case, it was a new VCSEL developed by VI Systems with very narrow spectral width to reduce chromatic dispersion transmitted over the top-of-the-line Draka OM4 fiber in the lab at Technical University Berlin. It's impressive. Read More.

Update Report on Broadband in America

Professor Robert Atkinson of The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information has released an update to his Broadband in America report of 2009 which was used as the basis for the National Broadband Plan. The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) is a university-based research center focused on strategy, management, and policy issues in telecommunications, computing, and electronic mass media.

The report estimates that fiber to the home (FTTH) was available to about 15.2 million homes (homes passed) in March 2009, 18.2 million in March 2010 (an increase of 20 percent), and 21 million in March 2011 (an increase of 14.6 percent).  In 2009, the largest provider of FTTH service, Verizon, announced that it would complete its FTTH deployment and be capable of serving 17 million locations by 2010. That means that 81% of all FTTH customers in the US are Verizon FiOS customers! The other 19% are served by over 700 other providers.

The report is filled with useful and interesting information including Capex estimates and also has a complete listing of all announced broadband plans, useful information for contractors.
You can download the entire report here.

Events of Interest

Fiber U@ OSP Expo

Fiber U Returns @ OSP EXPO, September 13-14, 2011

Some of you may remember the famous "Fiber U" training conferences of the 1990s where dozens of vendors and hundreds of students converged for a week-long training conference. Now Fiber U is part of the FOA. This year we've been invited to work with OSP Magazine to present seminars at their annual conference. We'll have sessions on Fiber Optics in SmartGrid, Fiber for Wireless and Gigabit FTTH.

Here is complete information on Fiber U at OSP EXPO  

OSP Expo, September 13-14, 2011 will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio.

AFL to Host "Traveling" Advanced Splicing Seminars

AFL has launched advanced splicing seminars intended for industry engineers and professionals, as well as university students, engaged in fiber optic activities involving splicing and for those interested in learning more about fusion splicing technology and methods. The seminars, which will take place around the US, will include
  • Explanation of splicing system observation and fiber alignment technology
  • Fusion splicing parameters and heating methods
  • Splicing methods and techniques for various specialty fiber types
  • Methods for high strength splicing
  • Splice protection
  • Measurement of splice quality
  • Cleaving and other fiber preparation issues and technology
  • Non-splicing applications such as ball-lensing
Seminars will be held in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Boston, Canada.
There is no charge for attending; however AFL will be conducting pre-registration in order to ensure availability of a proper facility depending upon the number of attendees. 
Latest Schedule:
Sept. 13th Boston (Lowell, MA)
Sept. 15th Washington/Baltimore
Oct. 19th Chicago 
Sign up today:

Free Corning "See the Light" Seminars
Corning is offering free 3 hour seminars on "Termination Technology" in over a dozen cities around the US in the coming months. The seminars focus on new termination techniques and will give attendees real hands-on training.
You must pre-register for the seminars, and we recommend you do so soon as they will probably fill up quickly!

August 17     Miami, FL
September 14     San Diego, CA
October 19     New Orleans, LA
November 16     Atlanta, GA
December 14     Austin, TX
Register at

FOA LogoWhat's New @ FOA

FOA Corporate MemberNew Corporate Memberships
FOA is now offering corporate memberships to companies involved in fiber optics as manufacturers, contractors, installers, etc. Read more.

Fiber U
Two New Free Fiber U Self-Study Programs on Outside Plant Fiber Optics and OTDRs
There are two new free online self-study programs on Fiber U. "Outside Plant Fiber Optics" uses the new FOA textbook and online reference guide to OSP to help you learn about OSP fiber networks. The "Understanding OTDRs" self-study program will help you learn how to properly use these complicated instruments and there is a free OTDR simulator you can download to use for practice.

FOA Certification On Outside Plant Fiber Optics
The new FOA CFospT outside plant certification focuses on OSP fiber optic network design, installation and maintentance. A CFospT certified tech must know the ways that fiber is used in the OSP, how it is installed, tested and maintained. While a CFOT might only have a basic knowlede of fusion splicing and OTDR testing, for example, a CFospT will be knowledgeable and skillful in those areas - and more. Reference materials for the new CFospT are the printed textbook, the FOA Reference Guide to Outside Plant Fiber Optics (right) as well as eBooks from Amazon for the Kindle or Apple for the iPad/iPod/iPhone and the OSP reference section of the FOA Online Reference Guide which now includes a self-study guide to the CFospT exam.
More information on the FOA 
Outside Plant Fiber Optic Technician (CFospT) certification.

Want to know more about OSP? There's OSP Magazine for that - and a trade show, OSPExpo, running this fall in Cincinnati.

Reference Books for FOA Certifications are now available on Kindle and iPad/iPhone
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book  FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book  FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book

We have created three new FOA books to be used in training for FOA certifications and as reference books for contractors, installers and end users of fiber optics. These books have full curriculum support, including free curriculum materials for teaching FOA certification courses. Because we are self-publishing these books using more modern "publish on demand" technology, they are easier to keep up to date, easier to buy and much, MUCH cheaper!
All are now available in print and electronically in Kindle and Apple iBook versions. The basic fiber optic book is also available as a self-study program in an Apple APP for iPad/iPhone/iPod.
Details on the new book each of the new books are at the book pages linked to the photos above.
NECA/FOA 301 Installation Updated
NECA 301
Standards cover components and systems and how to test them, but rarely get into installation issues. The FOA NECA 301 standard which covers installation of optical fiber systems has been revised for the second time, adding considerable new materials. This standard is derived from FOA educational material put in standards form and approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. It's specifically written to be used in contracts to define "installation in a neat and workmanlike manner." The standard is available from NECA

Lectures 8-11: Fiber Optic Installation and Design

FOA YouTube Lecture 11 - Fiber Optic Network Design

Four new lectures in our series on fiber optics are now online. Lecture 8 covers fiber optic network installation. Lectures 9-10-11 cover fiber optic network design, with Lecture 9 being an overview, Lecture 10 covering planning the network and Lecture 11 choosing fiber optic components.
Lecture 12 will start a new series on fiber optic testing.

View the FOA YouTube video Lectures.  

FOA Lecture Series 
The FOA is dedicated to make technical material readily available to all those interested in fiber optics. For all 15 years of our existence, we've created reference materials in the form of printed textbooks and web pages. Now our Online Reference Guide has grown so large it needs it's own Google Search and we offer all three of our new books on the Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod. Recently we started our own channel on YouTube
and the response has been enthusiastic.
So we've been adding more videos to YouTube, including a demonstration of how to use your cell phone camera to detect IR light in fiber systems and have started a lecture series on fiber optics.
The first lecture is called "Fiber Optics and Communications" and FOA President Jim Hayes describes the many different uses of fiber in telecommunications, CATV, security, utility and many other networks. Lecture #2 is about Safety in handling and installing fiber. Lectures cover the basics of fiber and cable, termination and splicing, installation and testing. Watch for more.

What's New  in the FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide
We have been updating the Online Reference Guide to keep up with changes in the industry and adding lots of new pages of technical information.

Testing FTTH
Basic guidelines for testing FTTH PON networks  

Measuring Reflectance or Return Loss
It can be important but it's not so easy to test.

Frequently Asked Questions About OTDRs
When do you use them, how to find distance to fault, what effect does end preparation have on traces, more.

Encircled Flux
What does this new method of measuring mode power distribution in MM fiber mean to testing standards?

Fiber Optic and Premises Cabling Project Paperwork
Covering what are SOW, RFPs and RFQs and how they are created for a project.

Effects of Alignment and Fiber Geometry on Fiber Optic Connector Loss
With all the controversy about connector loss due to modal distribution, we sometimes forget the effects of component variations.

Fiber Optics For Wireless Networks
How wireless is not wireless - it needs fiber.

Premises Cabling Installation
Installing copper/fiber/wireless for premises networks.

Web Page on Bend Insensitive Fiber
Bend-insensitive fiber is a "hot topic" now - we try to explain how it works and what it means for installation and test. 

Basic Fiber Design Section Updated
Lots of new materials added to this introduction to fiber optic network design.

Web Page on Data Centers
Data centers are the heart of the Internet, storing and supplying data for user requests. Needless to say, high performance cabling is needed to move the data between storage, servers and routers. We've created a new pagein our Online Reference Guide on 
data centers - how fiber and cabling are vital to their performance.

Learn More About OTDRs - Download a Free OTDR Simulator
More and more installers are being asked for OTDR testing but using these instruments is not easy. They are hard to set up properly and complicated to interpret the traces. Using the autotest function can lead to disastrous results! The FOA has a good tutorial on OTDRs on our Online Reference Guide and w
e added a free download of an OTDR simulator to the OTDR section so you can learn how to use an OTDR on your PC.

OSP Reference Section on the FOA Online Reference Guide website
Joining our basic fiber optics and premises cabling sections on the FOA Reference Guide website is a new outside plant reference section that covers materials like that in our new textbook. The material is ready for use and will be followed shortly by a self-study guide.
Both the OSP textbook and website are references for the new FOA CFospT outside plant technician certification.

More New Info:

Links to manufacturers and distributors of fiber optic lighting products.

The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide has become very popular - perhaps the most popular technical website ever, typically with over 270,000 users downloading about 1.6 million pages in 2010! We continue updating materials regularly, keeping it as up to date as possible.

Find What You Want Using "Google Custom Search
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.

School News

CFOT Training Coming to Hawaii
We seem to get more calls from Hawaii than just about anywhere because few schools offer fiber training there. Enulta is offering a CFOT course on Maui October 4-5, 2011. Contact Enulta for details.

New Schools
The FOA welcomes the newest additions to our listing of FOA-Approved Training Organizations:
  • Experior, Oxnard, CA #323
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic, Canada #751
  • J.A.T.C.  L.U. 351 & South Jersey N.E.C.A., #634
  • CPS, Stow, MA  #324

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

It's Now A Lot Easier To Find A FOA-Approved Training OrganizationFOA-Approved School Map Zoom to CA

Most phone calls we get regarding finding a FOA-Approved training organization want to know two things: what school is closest to me or what school offers the certifications I need. That can be difficult, since the FOA has almost 200 training organizations we have approved worldwide!
We've been looking at ways to make it easier, and we think we've got a good solution. In fact we have two solutions.
First we have added a sortable table of all the FOA-Approved schools.
ou can also use our FOA Google Map Application to find FOA-Approved schools.

Here are links to the
sortable table of all the FOA-Approved schools and  FOA Google Map.

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 evolve as new technologies develop.
KSAs for fiber and cabling techs.

Good Question! Tech Questions Worth Repeating

Tech Hint: Did You Know You Have A Fiber Optic Tester In Your Pocket?
Yes! The camera in your cell phone is sensitive to infrared light - lots more than your eye - and can detect light in an optical fiber or from a transmitter.  Chris Hillyer,
CFOT/CFOS/I, Master Instructor, Northern California Sound & Communication JATC sent us some photos showing how this works. See below or the video now on YouTube.

Encircled Flux
Q: If the EF (encircled flux) method is supposed to simulate a VCSEL transmitter, why not use a VCSEL as source? This approach would seem to eliminate the problems that seem to be occurring getting sources matched to the EF standard.
A: Some text equipment manufacturers have actually offered VCSEL test sources as long ago as 2000, but since these inexpensive lasers can vary in output consistency, they are considered unreliable compared to LEDs with mode conditioning.

UTP Cable Length
Q: What is the Length Uncertainty of a Cat5/5e/6/6A Certifier?

A: According to TIA 568 standards, the length uncertainty is  +/-5% of the measured value  - however -
there is an additional potential error due to the NVP uncertainty of +/-10%! Thus a 90m cable could be +/-4.5m due to tester error, plus +/-9 m due to NVP uncertainty, or a measured value of 90 m is somewhere in the range of 76.5 to 103.5m!

Fiber Optic Safety
Are you  able to tell me if there has been any reports of accidents with fibre optics e.g. someone getting shards in the hand and then the shard being taken up in the blood stream or people with vision loss due to working with fibre optic?
A: The two you cite are the classic myths of fiber optics.
Eye safety is covered in the US in an ANSI standard document, Z136.2, a subset of laser safety. Since fiber output is divergent, not collimated like a laser pointer, and at infrared wavelengths, the safety concerns are less. Laser pointers you can buy at a stationery store are more dangerous. Most fiber systems with high power automatically shut down if the connection is opened also. Techs are always taught to not look into the fiber without checking if power is present. You can do that with a cell phone camera:
The fiber shards in the bloodstream story has been around as long as I've been in fiber (>30 years) and I have no idea how it got started! I've had shards stuck in my fingers and they create a spot that first infects, then becomes hard before the fiber is ejected. Getting them into your eye is a bigger problem because the tears make them practically invisible. Safety glasses are mandatory.
Bigger problems have been digging up hazardous electrical or gas lines or electrocution when working near high voltage aerial lines, plus the usual hazards of working with cable and machinery.
More on safety. Did you download the safety poster we offer? Download a safety poster from the FOA!  

IR/UV Eye Protection
I was given your information from a vendor who sells safety glasses, with the recommendation that someone with your organization might know the names of providers of safety glasses which protect from infrared in the 1310-1550nm range.  I read through some of your literature online, and I see that it states that injury is unlikely to occur at those wavelengths; however I believe that better safe than sorry and so would like to find a provider of such glasses.  Any information which you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
A: While it is highly unlikely to incur eye damage, it is good practice. Lab suppliers like this offer UV/IR protective eyewear.

Standard For Installation?
Q: Is there a standard for testing and certification of installation in an industrial environment?
A: The FOA has worked with NECA to create ANSI/NECA/FOA 301, an installation standard for this purpose. It's intended use is to be used as a document defining proper installation for contracts. I can send you a copy if you like.
You might also find these pages on our reference website useful:
Section for users of networks:  PDF to print:
Section on project paperwork:
Designing fiber optic networks:

That's Why They Call Them "Dust Caps"
Q: We clean a connector, inspect it to ensure it is clean then put the dust cap on. If we inspect it after we remove that dust cap, it's dusty again, we assume from dust in the cap. I have tested different types and makes of dustcaps for the LC and clean ones are rare. If you only push them on half way it helps.....sometimes, but not always.  Does any company make clean (guaranteed) ones?
A: I've been saying for years that the reason they call them "dust caps" is they contain lots of dust. I know of no clean ones. Think about how they are made in millions and dumped in big bins in a factory! You just have to clean connectors when you remove them. Have you tried some of the dry cleaners? They seem to work well.

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! More on cleaningSee Product News below for links to vendors of fiber cleaning products.

See news about
Fiber Optic Cleaning Videos on YouTube by ITW Chemtronics below.

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 or Watching:

Fiber Optic Cleaning Videos on YouTube
ITW Chemtronics has three fiber optic cleaning videos on 
videos covering Dry CleaningWet-Dry Method, FiberWash and Combination Cleaning. They are good explanations of cleaning processes - the Wet-Dry is especially interesting.

Wire & Cable Asia
A new newsletter about the wire and cable (and fiber optic) industry in Asia is available online. See for more information.

IGI Consulting Plans New Series of Government Telecom, Fiber Optics and ICT Marketing Guides
IGI Consulting has initiated a project to develop a series of ten Marketing Guides to assist companies in accessing the military and government telecommunications, fiber optics, and information technologies markets. The government represents a major large and stable market. Despite pressure to reduce the government budget, there will still be a need for government to use technology to improve productivity and provide services and security. IGI Consulting has analyzed all the major government agencies responsible for buying, specifying, and investing in telecommunications, fiber optics, and information technologies. This provides the marketing manager with an independent view of the government market and saves time searching the web for the information. Here are the ten volumes:
More Information.

Corning Has Translated Training Documents and Videos Into Spanish
Check with Corning for availability.

Smart Grid
The National Association of Electrical Distributors has created a nice overview of "smart grid." It covers a brief overview of the US electric power system, an understanding of why the smart grid has become a national priority, a snapshot of the various electrical components and concepts that are part of the smart grid, advice on how your business can get involved and a look at some key players who should be on your radar if they aren't already.
Go to the NAEC Smart Grid website and download their Quick Start Guide.

Data Transfer at Light Speed
At Intel Research Day, the company demonstrated some of its silicon photonics technology for the first time. The goal of this work is to speed data transfer by replacing today’s electrical wiring with faster, more efficient fiber-optic connections. Video from MIT Technology Review.

A Documentary Treasure on the History of the Internet
15 minutes of a rarely-seen BBC documentary demolish the myth that ARPAnet was inspired by nuclear war, and explain the far more intriguing truth.

Searchable IGI Publication Archives Now Available as Google eBooks
Information Gatekeepers Inc. (IGI), a leading international supplier of information on fiber optics and telecommunications markets and technology, has entered into an arrangement with Google to make its archives available as Google eBook.
Since 1977, IGI has been publishing newsletters, conference proceedings, market research reports, and other publications focused on worldwide markets in telecommunications and fiber optics. With Google eBooks , all of these publications and studies — including previously unavailable earlier works — are now available in searchable, electronic format to market researchers, financial analysts, lawyers, governments, university researchers, libraries, and all other interested parties. Please search our new archive by visiting or entering search terms in the box below.
The new Google eBooks of IGI publications are also the best available for reading on mobile devices. Google eBooks can be read on the Web, Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and supported eReaders. Learn more about our supported devices.
For more information on the new Google eBooks of IGI publications please visit You can search Google Books for IGI publications directly - Go here.

Ensuring Distance Accuracy On OTDR Measurements

The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage
If you think the Internet has changed communications in recent years, consider the effects of the introduction of telegraphy 150 years ago. Communications went from as slow as horses, ships or trains could carry news to instantaneous! Who was the first to use it? Stock traders, of course, and low latency is still their goal! It's a good read, and you'll find out some new info on Thomas Edison! On Amazon.

Broadband Properties Webinar Archives
Broadband Properties Magazine
Lots of interesting webinars, mostly on FTTH. Go here.

FTTX Networks
An ADC white paper on how they work and how networks are upgraded to FTTH.

JDSU Application Note On "Qualifying FTTH Network before Equipment Installation"
Another great paper from JDSU covering FTTH PON networks is available for downloading. It gives an overview of FTTH architecture, cleaning connectors then testing the cable plant with OTDRs and OLTSs. This paper will help you understand why OTDRs can be confusing on PONs! 

Best Practices For Wireless Backhaul Network Upgrades
Joan Engebretson, Contributing Editor of Connected Planet has written a very good overview of how fiber is essential to the operation of cellular wireless systems. Everybody probably knows that fiber is used to connect towers into the telecom network - they call it backhaul - but her article also covers the new appliations to replace bulky, heavy, lossy coax up the  tower to the antennas.

Fiber Optic Safety Poster
We've had numerous requests to reprint our guidelines on safety when working with fiber optics, so we have created a "Safety Poster" for you to print and post in your classroom, worksite, etc. We suggest giving a copy to every student and installer.

Corning now offers videos on Corning on YouTube. Lots of interesting videos, some technical, some sales, but all good information.

US Conec's videos on cleaning fibers - show's the results of proper cleaning.

Webinars of Interest

Broadcast Engineering Magazine - Fiber Optic Testing
FOA President Jim Hayes presents an overview of fiber optic testing for all applications. Available on Demand. Sign up here.

Multimode Fiber Trends from TIA's Fiber Optics LAN Section
Ryan Chappell, Draka Communications, looks at the evolution of multimode fiber, examines its current usage and shares predictionson its future
Available on-demand at:

OSP Magazine Webinars

OSP Magazine (OSP as in outside plant telco) is now offering a number of interesting webinars that cover fiber topics, including network design and specialized components.

Multimode Fiber Characterization Launch Condition Considerations - new ap note from JDSU  

JDSU Reference Guide to Fiber Optic Testing – Volume 2 PublishedJDSU Fiber Optic Testing Volume 2
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.
We used this book as one of our references in creating a new page in the FOA Online Reference Guide on chromatic dispersion (CD) and polarization-mode dispersion (PMD).

Careers in Fiber Optics:
Brian Smith. A 1998 book on fiber optic jobs is a bit dated, but a free overview is on Google Books and worth a look at it online.

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.

US Conec's videos on cleaning fibers - show's the results of proper cleaning.

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 - 
A Fiber Optic Tester In Your Pocket?  (See the video on Corning on YouTube )
Yes! The camera in your cell phone is sensitive to infrared light - lots more than your eye - and can detect light in an optical fiber or from a transmitter.  Chris Hillyer,CFOT/CFOS/I, Master Instructor, Northern California Sound & Communication JATC sent us some photos showing how this works and the following description.
IR Viewer 850 nm  IR Viewer 1300 nm
"Your cell phone camera's image sensor can read IR light. It uses this technology to help take pictures at night.
In the advanced audio and CCTV field they have been using the smart phone camera to trouble shoot problems in IR communications. The human eye cannot see the IR light emitted by let’s say a remote control.  Well up until now we would always say that the remote is out of batteries, or either the IR transmitter or IR receiver was not working properly. Now we can use your smart phone camera to see the IR light emitted by the IR transmitter. All you have to do is turn on your camera function on your smart phone and hold it up the remote control and push any button. The cameras screen will show the IR light.
Now back to Fiber Optics. If you follow the same principals of the last paragraph, let’s say you wanted to check if a fiber port was energized. You can either use the card that is supposed to show you in a few seconds that the port was hot. Or you could plug in your meter, in this case it takes some time to find the card or if you don’t have your meter handy.  Just pull out your smart phone turn on the camera and hold it over the port. If it is hot you will see a bluish white dot in the fiber bulk head (see attached pictures)."
We tried this ourselves and found our camera phone very sensitive at 850 nm but as expected less so at 1300 nm, like all semiconductor detectors. Our phone could still see 1300 nm sources at around -20 dBm, making it very useful even for LED sources, and of course, perfect for lasers.

OFSTP-14 Update

OFSTP-14 is the TIA standard for testing installed multimode fiber optic cable plants which has been around more than 20 years and is the one TIA standard probably most familiar to contractors and installers.  The TIA has adopted IEC 61280-4-1 as the replacement of OFSTP-14. Most of the two documents is the same, with some important exceptions.
  • For insertion loss, three reference methods are are still approved, but the nomenclature is different.
  • OTDR testing is now an approved test method as long as you use launch and receive cables.
  • Reference test cables with "reference grade connectors" are recommended.
  • Methods are given for testing and verifying the loss of reference test cables.
  • CPR with a mandrel wrap is gone, replaced by "Encircled Flux," a complex - and not completely debugged - method of measuring the source output. See our explanation of EF here.

We are creating a web page to explain the differences and will give you a link shortly. In the meantime, continue testing as usual.

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 10/40/100G Ethernet.

Product News

AFL Simplifies Dark Fiber Turn-up with New Network Activation Kits
AFL is launching new Network Activation kits designed to support installation and commissioning of optical equipment in telecom, broadband and other single-mode optical fiber networks. These products are part of an expanding portfolio of AFL fiber optic kits that now include over 60 application-specific sets. Read More.

Fix Polarity With Corning Flip
Corning Flip
Corning has introduced a boot for duplex LC connectors that allows rotating the connectors to change polarity on a duplex patchcord. If you have ever installed a system, you know how cool this is!  It has the name "Pretium EDGE™ Solutions Reverse Polarity Uniboot Jumper" and you should contact Corning for more info.

New Corning Cleaver for Unicam
At a recent Corning seminar, we had the opportunity to try their new Unicam Pretium cleaver, the FBC-007 ("007 - licensed to cleave"?). It's a major step forward in making cleaving a trouble-free process and should improve Unicam losses and increase yields. It is included in new kits but can be purchased as an upgrade.

Protecting Pedestals From Rodents
Pedestals and underground vaults can be damaged by rodents who come up through the base and damage cables. Uraseal "Drain N'Seal" foam deters mice from taking up residence in your pedestals. They have some good videos on using their product.

A Cable Tie That's Fiber Friendly
We're always warning installers not to tighten cable ties too tightly around fiber optic cable (or UTP copper cable either!) A better choice is the hook and loop fastener ties (Velcro is one trade name), but there is another type, the Mille-Tie. It's an open tie that can be used at any length, then cut off and the remainder used also. Take a look a the video to see how it works.
Mille-Tie Video:  
Bend-insensitive fiber has been the subject of much discussion but at the latest TIA standards meeting, the issue seems to have been defused. It seems you can now consider BI and regular MM fiber compatible. Check with your cable/fiber supplier for the latest news.
The FOA has updated its Reference Guide page on bend-insensitive fiber.

Benchtop Connector Cleaner
S-G benchtop fiber optic cleaner
FerrulePro™ is the world’s first fully automated benchtop fiber connector cleaner for laboratory and cable production environments. It automates the final cleaning of all types of terminated fiber products, a critical task where performance once depended largely on the production line worker’s skill. Fiber connectors can be cleaned in 3 seconds cycle - eliminating the need for re-cleaning after post production inspection. More.

Remember the SMA Connector?
They're still being used for high power laser delivery - up to 80-100W! Seikoh Giken has even introduced some new ones.

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:
    Testing FTTH
    JDSU shows how to test a PON with an OTDR:

    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 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:


    New FOA Jobs Website

    We get many questions from CFOTs, students at FOA-Approved schools and others contemplating getting into the fiber optic business regarding jobs in fiber optics - and
    how to find them - so we’ve created a new web page to share some information we've gathered about jobs in our industry. The information is designed to help you understand what jobs are available in fiber optics, how to find them and apply for them.
    While the overall economy is pretty bad - you've probably heard that there are 5 times as many people unemployed in the US as there are jobs available, telecom is a bright spot - broadband is a major focus of stimulus spending in the US and countries around the world are building fiber networks as fast as possible. Even wireless companies have to build fiber for their backhaul. Cities are installing fiber linked surveillance cameras and smart traffic lights. Fiber is the link making Smart Grid possible. Companies like Allied Fiber are building large private networks. Telecom is one of the fastest growing businesses worldwide.

    If you are looking for a job in fiber optics, here is the FOA's guide to jobs.

    The FOA has created a group on
    FOA on LinkedIn  expressly to help our CFOTs find employment and contracting opportunities. If you are a CFOT and are interested in participating, join us on FOA on LinkedIn. If you have job openings, let us post them on FOA on LinkedIn.

    A list of 10 ways to get your resume noticed from Marketplace on NPR   

    Jobs Created As Part of Stimulus-Funded Projects
    The federal government is spending 7.2 billion dollars on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.  This money is working it's way into the economy and hopefully will provide jobs.  You can track recovery dollars and look for job opportunities on this website:  Go to "opportinities" link then "jobs".  You will see a section “find recovery jobs” – enter “fiber optic jobs California” or wherever you are and review what comes up.

    One of the projects funded by stimulus money is the1100 mile network of
    Maine Fiber Company Inc. which has selected nextGen Telecom Services Group Inc. as the installation contractor. CFOTs: NextGen has a link on their website for applying for jobs

    Job Openings

    Director, Engineering, Fiber Optics
    A major global business unit of a $12+ B has an opportunity for a seasoned engineering leader to manage the Engineering & Technical organization.  The Director, partnering with a newly hired leader of Fiber Optics, will be a key player in establishing a solid foundation of the fiber optics business moving forward.   Reporting to the Vice President for the Fiber Optics business within the $1B business, the Engineering leader will have direct responsibility for all development and sustaining engineering, for the advanced fiber optics lab, for the Manufacturing Development Engineering group including Automation, Advanced Quality, Industrial Engineering and Materials Planning and for a customer-focused engineering team.

    Qualifications and experience:
    Deep knowledge of the fiber optics industry and technology
    Subject matter expert in Fiber Optics with experience in active & passive fiber optics as well as photons, engines and fiber architecture
    Knowledge in all aspects of Opto-Electronic packaging including Designing and Manufacturing of Opto -Electronic components including Vcsels, Photo Diodes and IC's
    Global engineering leadership experience
    Strong leadership skills including communication, talent evaluation and development – an outstanding technical leader with strong interpersonal and management skills
    Bachelors degree  in engineering required, Masters preferred
    Excellent customer interface and relationship building experience with ability to identify customer needs and transform them into new product offerings.
    Willingness to travel frequently, and as necessary, to support a global engineering organization with significant presence in Harrisburg, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Den Bosch, The Netherlands; Stockholm, Sweden and Shanghai, China

    Sr. Manager, Fiber Automation & Advanced Manufacturing (8-11)

    A major global business unit of a $12+ B has an opportunity for a seasoned Advanced Manufacturing professional with strong accomplishments in automating manufacturing processes.  The Sr. Manager, partnering with the Director of Engineering for Fiber Optics and the VP of Operations, will be a key player in enabling significant growth in our fiber optics business – an area identified as one of the top investment priorities. Reporting to the Director of Global Automation with a strong dotted line to both the Fiber Engineering Director & VP Fiber Optics Operations, the Senior Advanced Manufacturing Manager will have responsibility for transitioning our current fiber production into a higher volume enterprise to enable the organization to meet anticipated demand in the market.

    Qualifications and experience:

    Knowledge and experience transitioning manual and small-batch production to high volume manufacturing through automation.
    Knowledge of the fiber optics manufacturing significant advantage; Knowledge of automation in Electronics manufacturing required
    Experience with active & passive fiber optics
    Strong project management skills
    Bachelors degree in Engineering required
    Ability to influence across an organization
    Willingness to travel frequently, and as necessary, to support a global manufacturing and fiber optics organization with significant presence in Harrisburg, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Den Bosch, The Netherlands; Stockholm, Sweden and Shanghai, China
    Steve Lavner
    Vice President and Senior Associate
    Diversified Search
    t. 212-542-2586 c. 917-885-4409 f. 212-542-2574

    Instructors For FOA CFOT Courses (8-11)
    Educational Resources needs instructors in several areas around the US including TX and DC. Contact Heather Blake
    Educational Resources, Inc., 703-904-1800 x 104,

    OSP Fiber Inspector (8-11)
    Growing telecommunications company in need of a outside plant Fiber Inspector for the southern Eastern Shore for a 2 to 2 ½ year contract.  Hourly pay will be commensurate with experience
    Duties include:
    Construction Oversight
    Visit all assigned projects in progress
    Track daily crew progress
    Make on-site decisions regarding SOW compliance
    Daily construction oversight
    Assist in managing Right-of-way and Customer relationship
    Verify Redlines/As-builds for turn over to Project Manager
    Verify work is being performed according to customer specs
    Verify work is being performed to proprietary standards
    Provide direction to crews for following proper construction procedures
    Perform punch list walkouts
    Ensure proper traffic control
    Report any safety violations to Operations Manager
    Investigate construction accidents
    Internal Task Management and support
    Support for internal management and corporate development tasks
    For more information, please call Grant Toomey at 410.573.0003 – or you can reach him via email at
    Grant Toomey
    Corporate Brokers, LLC
    Strategic Staffing Solutions
    170 Jennifer Road
    Suite 230
    Annapolis, Maryland  21401
    410-573-9275 Fax

    EM4 (8-11)

    EM4 designs, develops and manufactures state-of-the-art, ruggedized, optoelectronic components and packages  for the Defense, Aerospace, Life Science, CATV, Telecommunication and Industrial markets. EM4 is part of a global group of specialized optical companies that form Gooch & Housego.

    Lead Engineer : Fused Technology

    EM4 is seeking an experienced Lead Engineer to join our team to work on the transfer and operation of the semi automated Fused Coupler capability in conjunction with Gooch &Housego (G&H) located in Torquay, UK.

    The role involves practical hands on product manufacture, development and first line technical support together with a full suite of project management skills to effectively communicate across G&H sites and with external customers.  You will be responsible for learning the fused coupler product line in the UK and moving the manufacturing processes and equipment to the US.

    Engineering Program Manager

    EM4 is seeking a talented Engineering Program Manager with a proven track record of managing complex programs to a timely and cost effective conclusion within the Defense Industry.  The ideal candidate will have small company experience with fiber optics, photonics, electro-optics, lasers and optics; and an established contact base from which to draw suppliers and customers. The position is headquartered out of the Bedford, MA office of EM4.

    Quality Manager

    EM4 is seeking an experienced Quality Manager to join our team to work on implementing the necessary quality management systems to enable AS9100 accreditation. As the AS9100 standard is a fundamental requirement within the markets we operate, it will enable further growth within our product ranges; optoelectronic, fiberoptic, electronic and RF components and subsystems. Additionally, it will ensure the necessary control systems are in place in support of future integration opportunities with our corporate company Gooch & Housego.

    Package Design Manufacturing Engineer

    EM4 is seeking a talented Package Design Engineer to join our team to work on new and existing projects and programs.  The Package Design Engineer will provide optomechanical design and integration engineering for optoelectronic, fiberoptic, electronic and RF components and subsystems.

    US Citizen or Green Card Holder required.   Outstanding compensation and benefits package to all employees.  EM4, Inc., 7 Oak Park Drive, Bedford, MA  01730

    Please submit your resume to


    OSP Engineers, Southeast (6/11)

    ASTS  is excited to be working with a major company who requires OSP (Outside Plant Engineers) of varying levels of expertise and skill sets to work throughout the Southeast region of the USA.  AT&T, BellSouth, BSTCAD, OSPCM, OPEDS permitting and FTTCS design on your resume will get you noticed. 

    Please submit resumes to

    OSP Techs in New England (6/11)

    Superior Communication Services (SCS)  is atop the premier communications contractors in the New England that provides a variety of communication services to commercial business applications. At SCS we specialize in the design and installation of structured cabling solutions we are now hiring experienced structured cabling technicians to full time positions at our Massachusetts location.
    Technicians must have a valid drivers license, basic understanding of cable pulling and basic knowledge of using hand tools; we are willing to train motivated and positive individuals. 

    To learn more about this opportunity or to forward your resume, please contact me at
    Scott Savard
    Account Executive
    Superior Communication Services

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

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

    "Your newsletter generated a significant number of applicants and we have filled the position."


    Tech Puzzler:

    August 2011

    What was the first application for which VCSELs were used?

    A. Video over MM fiber
    B. Gigabit Ethernet

    C. Fibre Channel
    D. SANs

    Go here to answer the question. Be sure to enter the month of the quiz!
    Answer to past questions below

     FOA Logo Merchandise
    New FOA Swag! Shirts, Caps, Stickers, Cups, etc.
    FOA T Shirt
    The FOA has created a store on offering lots of new logo merchandise. It has lots of versions of shirts and other merchandise with "FOA," "Fiber U," "Lennie Lightwave" designs and more so you should find something just for you! See FOA on Zazzle.

    FOA Certification Top Choice

    The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 33,000 CFOTs (March 2011) have been certified by over 250 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 in place 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 have several 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

    Answer to July Tech Puzzler:
    Check here next month for the answer to previous tech puzzlers.

    We mention above the controversy over bend-insensitive fiber. What was it all about?

    A. Cost if BI fibers
    B. Cabling methods for BI fibers

    C. Compatibility of BI fibers to legacy fibers
    D. Splicing BI fibers

     See the FOA Reference Guide for more info.


    (C)1999-2011, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

      Go to the special answer form to enter the FOA Tech Puzzler monthly contest.