March, 2007

What's New?
FTTx News: Looking for a job? FTTx offers lots of opportunities.
Tech Topics: Why are there 4 ways (maybe 5) to test fiber optic cables? (PDF) How do you clean connections?
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

SIgn up for the FOA eMail Newsletter


The Archives

Read Previous Issues: , 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

The FOA Is Starting An Email Newsletter.
We have been asked many times to create an email newsletter to notify our members of important events, industry news, job opportunities, etc. So we finally did.
Sign Up Now To Receive Our Monthly Newsletter and Job Postings By Email:
Sign up for The FOA Email Newsletter

Last Chance:

Sign up to attend the biggest fiber optic conference/exhibition in the world:

OFC/NFOEC being held in Anaheim, CA March 25-29. You can register for dozens of conferences or just attend the exhibits. It's a "don't miss" event!

Testing Multimode Fiber Gets International Attention

Multimode fiber R&D was shoved aside in the mid-80s when the phone companies switched to singlemode. With the continuing use for premises cabling, multimode remained popular, with 62.5/125 micron FDDI-grade fiber being the standard in the US. With the advent of Gigabit Ethernet, which uses VCSEL lasers, a new-old fiber re-emerged, 50/125, first as a 50/50 Mhz-km bandwidth design, then truly laser-optimized with a bandwidth of over 2000 MHz-km at 850 nm for VCSEL networks at 1-10 Gb/s or more.

But as the speed of networks increased, the loss margin decreased accordingly. Thus very high speed networks have loss margins of 2-4 dB, compared to 6-14 dB or more for 100 Mb/s networks like FDDI and fast Ethernet. With smaller margins, the need for accurate loss measurements became more critical.

At the same time, test equipment manufacturers lobbied to have OTDR testing recognized as acceptable for cable plant testing, just like light sources and power meters (LSPM is the European terminology, but many here use OLTS.) In Europe, draft standards already give them equal status, based on some tests conducted last year that showed correllation between OTDR and OLTS testing when certain commercial mode conditioners are used on both test sets.

The FOA decided to see if we could duplicate the results ourselves. We obtained several of these mode conditioners and TIA -pecified mandrels and tested some new-generation OM-3 fibers with both LSPM and OTDR. Our results are shown here (PDF). Our results:

  • We did not find any reliable correllation between OTDR and LSPM testing with either the mode conditioner or mandrel wrap.
  • We did not, in fact, find correllation between the two OTDRs we used in all tested fiber network configurations.

We presented this material at a TIA standards meeting in February, which was good timing, as the meeting saw a number of other presentations on problmes with mode-dependent measurements. The issue has been deemed important enough that the TIA FO-4 committee has begun organizing an industry-wide task force to investigate the problems encountered with multimode measurements and determine the best solution, which can be written into US standards.

Don't expect a solution too quickly, as these processes take time, and this is a big one! However, the FOA is considering having our members help provide data by helping us gather information on the measurement uncertainty of testing a multimode cable plant. If you are interested in participating, let us know - email to

Technology Updates - Getting Closer To Optical Integrated Circuits

Two new developments in semiconductor technology offer promises for cheaper, faster fiber optic links and perhaps even a breakthrough on integrating optics into semiconductor chips.

The first development comes from Professor Connie Chang-Hasnain at UC Berkeley, who has developed a new simple way to make the mirrors required to create the laser cavity on lasers like the VCSELs used for fiber optic links. Normally, the mirrors are made by building up many layers (about 80) of semiconductor material. Professor Chang-Hasnain figured out how to make the mirrors with an air gap and only one mirror. Not only will this allow cheaper lasers, but they are thinner and may be able to allow making VCSELs at wavelengths other than 850 nm, a current problem. This development promises to make all VCSELs cheaper, not only for fiber optics, but for those used in CD or DVD players. And the technology is so simple, that commercialization should happen quickly. Read more.

The second development comes from MIT, where they claim to have found a simple way to integrate ICs and optical devices on a single chip. This has been hard to devise, as ICs are generally based on inexpensive silicon while optical devices require gallium arsenide or similar, more complicated semiconductor materials. Details on the processes used are sketchy, probably because a ton of patents are being filed, but if it proves commercially feasible, it could make fiber optics easier to implement - and justify. Read More.


The Fiber Optic Association Holds "Fiber To The Home Summit" in Los Angeles

The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. (The FOA) hosted a "Fiber To The Home" Summit Meeting on January 18, 2007 in Los Angeles at LA Trade Technical College. For full details on the meeting, including a rundown of the employment needs of Verizon which is looking for many FTTx techs around the US, see the February FOA Newsletter.

More FTTx Summits Coming - Boston/East Coast in the Spring?
The success of the first FOA FTTx Summit has led to requests to hold similar meetings around the US where FTTx is being implemented. Look for announcements as soon as arrangements are finalized.

FOA's CFxT FTTx Certification Program Explained

Read the Broadband Properties article about the FOA FTTx certification program.
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 Textbooks 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.
Eric Pearson's book that is used for the CFOS/I reference book, Successful Fiber Optic Installation, is also now available in Spanish.
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.

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?


Job Openings
Verizon: Fiber Network Field Technician (Outside Field Technician)
Openings in the following California areas:
US-CA-Huntington Beach
US-CA-Rancho Cucamonga
US-CA-Redondo Beach
US-CA-Santa Monica
US-CA-San Bernadino

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! 

Fiber Optics Sales Engineer / Account Manager

Job Description
Develop and maintain a territory sales plan that focuses on key accounts and sales stimulus activities including planned seminars, product shows, and mailings.
Profile and penetrate key accounts by developing account profiles.
Understand customer organizations by department, function, strategies, and key programs.
Master the basic features and benefits of our primary products including Fiber Optical Components, Modules, Sub-Systems and Optical Test Equipments.
Identify and sell into new and existing applications for Lightwaves2020 products.
Demonstrate basic operation of Lightwaves2020 products.
Effectively utilize sales resources including applications engineers, channel partners, sales representatives, distributors and customer service representatives.


Demonstrated track record of successful high-technology sales (at least 3-5years' experience).
Sales experience in the Fiber Optics or Telecommunications industry is preferred but not required.
Highly motivated and success driven.
Strong knowledge of the fiber optics industry highly preferred, but not required.
Fully developed tactical sales skills (prospecting, qualifying, closing, and growing existing customers).
Strong communication and presentation skills.
Excellent time and territory management skills.
Experience with computers, e-mail, and Microsoft Office programs.
BSEE or equivalent; M.B.A. is a plus.


For consideration, please send a cover letter with your resume attached (Word or PDF) to Human Resources at <> . Lightwaves 2020, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Sandy Cheng
HR Manager
Lightwaves2020, Inc.
Tel: (408) 503-9000

Technical Applications Engineer

REPORTS TO: Director of Marketing & Sales

The Technical Applications Engineer is highly knowledgeable of the company's products/services and their applications and is skilled in answering technical inquires, developing new business opportunities and directly interfacing with customers.
The Technical Applications Engineer projects the company's policies and image to help achieve corporate objectives when dealing with customers through phone calls, mail/fax, trade shows and and/or personal visits.


Excellent verbal and written communication.
Assesses potential application of Company's products or services and offers solutions that meet customer needs.
Researches and presents reports showing potential customers the cost benefit of purchasing company products or services.
Provides technical training to customers and communicates customer feedback into future product developments.
Capable of analyzing customer RFQ's for feasibility, completeness of and acceptability of specifications
Experience and knowledge of fiber optics as related to the company's product and service offerings
Computer oriented

B.S. degree in science or engineering (with courses in Physics and/or fiber optics)
2-4 years of experience in the field of specialty optical fibers, fiber optics, or in a related area.

Please submit resume and references to:

Mr. Joseph Pagano, CFO
Fiberguide Industries, Inc.
1 Bay Street
Stirling, NJ 07980

Tel. No. (908) 647-6601
Fax No. (908) 647-8464

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 a multifiber connector that has fibers for every one of those STs.
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.


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 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!

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


Tech Puzzler: MTP

The MTP is the connector used for most preterminated cable systems as it allows for connecting 12 fibers in a very small space but relativley easy breakout to a normal ST, SC or LC at patch panels.

See the FOA Tech Topics Connector ID page.