December, 2008

In This Issue
FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Keeps Expanding- and adds "Google Custom Search"

Tech Topics: New "Google Custom" Search Tool.  See Tech Topics Below.

Q&A: Interesting comments on last month's questions.

Product News:  A unique way to install aerial cable. See "Product News" Below

Worth Reading: Who Wants 40-100 GB Ethernet? Bankrupt brokerages, that's who. Also offers on two new market reports.  See "Worth Reading" below
FTTH: 1/8 of all US homes now passed by FTTH,  take rates at >30%. 
Looking For Jobs - a bunch this month, including sales, fiber splicers, field techs, manufacturing engineering, Instructors for a FOA-approved school, Splicers in Canada, fusion splicer sales, production and engineering. See "Jobs" Below
This Month's "Tech Puzzler"
FOA Home Page
NEW: Sign up for the FOA eMail Newsletter

The Archives: Previous Issues:
1/08, 2/08, 3/08, 4/08, 5/08,  6/08, 7/08, 8/08, 09/0810/08, 11/08,  
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

Looking For a FOA-Certified Fiber Optic Installer? Use the FOA Installer Database  Free! Almost 1000 CFOT's listed. 
CFOT's register online to create your listing.

Contact the FOA

You can now renew your FOA certification online - and get an extra month free. Details here.

FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Is Continually Expanding
And Adds "Google Custom Search"

FOA ref page
The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide is now available for use. It's not complete - we expect it to never be "complete" but always expanding!  We want you to contribute and give us feedback on how we can make it better!

The new FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference website continues to grow. We're not just adding technical materials, but study guides to help you use it. This month, we added a section on premises cabling (fiber, copper and wireless) and study guides for CFOT students, CFOTs wanting a refresher and anyone just wanting to learn about fiber optics. We also added a Instructor's Guide to assist teachers in understanding how the website relates to our textbooks and can be used in conjuction with or in place of textbooks and other references in class.

Wanted: Links To Technical Materials
Next, we're soliciting links from fiber optic manufacturers and other organizations that have created technical materials that would be of interest to our readers. If you have technical websites you want to share, go here for our guidelines for submission.

FOA Adds "Google Custom Search  to Tech Topics and Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide

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!  

FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide "Tour"

Each month, we'll do a quick tour of part of the 
FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference to show you what's there and how to use it effectively. This month we'll talk about our study guides. We've created three of them: one for students preparing for the CFOT exam, one for CFOTs wanting to refresh their knowledge and one for anyone wanting to learn about fiber optics. Each of these guides your through a course of study to gain knowledge on the basics of fiber optics, but aimed at three different goals. For students, it's preparing for the CFOT exam, for CFOTs, it's keeping up with technology or finding some piece of information that needs clarification, and for anyone wanting to learn about fiber optics, it guides them through the basics in an organized way to help them learn on their own.

Go to  The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide.

Good Question! Tech Questions Worth Repeating - And - This Month - Commenting On

This installation specification has a bulleted list of instructions, the first sentence reading, "Observe
minimum bend radius and cable pull tension."  What number(s) should be there? Is there an average cable pull tension for all optical fiber? 

A: Cable pulling specs are based on cable design and diameter. Pulling tension is rated for the cable type, typically 100-200# for indoor cable, 600#+ for outside plant. Bend radius is generally specified at 20X cable diameter under pulling tension, 10X relaxed after pulling. Under any circumstances, check with the cable manufacturer for specs on the particular cable you are using.

It was brought to our attention that a section of TIA-568-B (Structured Cabling Standard) calls for a 15Xcable diameter spec. Here is the text:

10.3.1 Minimum bend radius and maximum pulling tension
The bend radius for intrabuilding 2 and 4-fiber horizontal optical fiber cable shall not be less than 25 mm
(1 in) under no-load conditions.  When under a maximum tensile load of 222 N (50 lbf), the bend radius
shall not be less than 50 mm (2 in).
The bend radius for intrabuilding optical fiber backbone cable
shall not be less than that recommended
by the manufacturer.  If no recommendation is known, then the applied bend radius shall not be less
than 10 times the cable outside diameter under no-load conditions and not less than 15 times the cable
outside diameter when the cable is under tensile load
The bend radius for interbuilding optical fiber backbone cable shall not be less than that recommended
by the manufacturer.  If no recommendation is provided or known, then the bend radius shall not be less
than 10 times the cable outside diameter under no-load conditions and not less than 20 times the cable
outside diameter when the cable is under a tensile load
up to the rating of the cable, usually 2670 N
(600 lbf).

We do not know the reasoning behind this specification. Using 20X for all cable under tension meets the requirements of all known standards.
Q: When we do the Link - Loss - Budget calculation, do we need to consider the any loss for cable bending. For our project, the Single Mode FO cable is run in cable tray, which has at least 4 to 6 bends (90 deg turning). If bending loss to be considered for each Bend, then what are the typical values for Single Mode Fibre.

A: You should not include bending losses in link loss calculations since there should be no bends tight enough to cause loss. If the measured loss is higher than calculated loss, you should then look for bending loss with an OTDR.

We should have linked you to the Tech Topic on Link Loss Budgets:
Q. Is it OK to use inexpensive air-gap attenuators with lasers in singlemode networks?

A: Since lasers are sensitive to reflectance and air-gap attenuators may have high reflectance, we do not recommend using them on singlemode systems. Filter type attenuators with low reflectance are recommended. Here's more on attenuators from our new Online Fiber Optic Reference Guice.

We're covering these topics (and a lot more) in our new FOA Online Fiber
Optic Reference Guide: and

We have added a section on Premises Cabling on the FOA Online Reference Guide To Support our New Pemises Cabling Certification. Soon we'll also have a study guide for the CPCT on the FOA Online Reference Site.
The FOA CPCT specialist will focus on understanding the technology and processes involved in fiber, copper and wireless, rather than focusing on standards or just how to install copper cables. 
FOA CPCT Certification will be available through FOA-Approved Schools and soon directly for CFOTs. If you have a CFOT and wish to add a CPCT to your certifications, contact the FOA for information on how to study for and take the CPCT exam.

Design certification training is also starting at FOA-approved schools.

Worth Reading:

40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet
Who wants 40-100G networks? Streaming video? Nah, how about universities and brokerage houses. At least that's what Freesky Research claims in a article in Lightwave. The brokerage houses need high speed links to cut microseconds off their transaction times. We're often skeptical of market research, as its often self-serving, but this one is so asking to be a news parody on the Daily Show.

(AOC - fiber optic cables with media converters on each end so they act like electronic cables) have created considerable “buzz” in the optical connectivity business over the past year. Active Optical Cables Market Analysis 2009, IGI's first report on the AOC market, examines several market segments expect to generate significant business growth over the next five years. The report includes fifteen separate market segment forecasts, covering four platform types, four bus standards, and five platform categories. It contains over 160 figures and tables. According to the report, cumulative cable revenue is expected to exceed $8.5 billion (US) from 2009 through 2013 just for the application segments included in this report. Single-year revenue is expected to grow from the present-year level of <$100 million to over $1.1 billion in 2010, then up to over $2.6 billion by 2013. As additional application segments are included in the overall market, the total revenue numbers can be expected to increase substantially over these conservative figures.
IGI is offering a 20% pre-publication discount on the report until January 1, 2009. For more information on this report, please visit or contact:

Dr. Hui Pan
Information Gatekeepers Inc.
320 Washington Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02135
617-782-5033, Fax 617-782-5735

Special Offer: Military Fiber Opportunities-2009,  Confidently pursue the opportunities that best fit your technology and product set. Chock full of active solicitations, successful contracts by vendors similar to your company, key military and major defense systems contacts, special information on hot topics such as silicon photonics and fiber optic sensing, and the latest on new military trends, this 100+ page Book, now in its third year of publication, will open the doors you need to start scoring big in this multi-billion dollar market space.
For a very limited time, you have the opportunity to look into an exciting new world of fiber optic opportunities at a bargain-basement price. Fresh off the presses, Chaffee Fiber Optics is offering you the newest, most complete tool you will ever need for doing business with the U.S. military and other federal agencies. And, until December 31, Military Fiber Opportunities-2009 is available for $400.00, a significant reduction from the cost when the Book becomes available on a global basis on January 1, 2009.
Contact David Chaffee
call 410-988-2723

FOA Tech Topics - 
The new FOA reference website is now online. Check out the current Table of Contents. 

Coming soon to a network near you  - 40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet!
The IEEE is already working on specs for
40 and 100 gigabit/sec Ethernet and have approved a number of new PMDs (that's standards-speak for Physical Medium Dependent - i.e. cabling). A summary of the proposals is on the updated list of network specs at
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.
Designing and manufacturing fiber optic communications products for manufacturers.
Choosing, installing and using fiber optic products for network users.
Designing Fiber Optic Networks
Installing Fiber Optic Cable Plants
Troubleshooting fiber optic cable plants and communcations systems.
Fiber Optic Restoration

Online Videos
We continue expanding the Tech Topics section and have added some videos. These videos, in a format familiar to the "You Tube" users among you, cover cable prep, termination with epoxy/polish connectors, mechanical splicing and insertion loss testing.
You need Quicktime to view these videos which you can download free here from the Apple website.
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
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?

Product News

Seiko-Giken has two new cleaning products, HandiMate and new ferrule tips for FerruleMate.

Have you read the FOA Tech Topics on Cleaning?

More links on cleaning:


ITW Chemtronics

Cleantex Alco Pads



FTTH Notes:

September Update
About 13 million homes are passed by fiber optics now - about 1 in 6. In spite of the economy, FTTx is carrying on and costs are decreasing.
FTTX 9-08
Graph from data by RVH in Broadband Properties Magazine.

FTTH "Take Rates" Now at 30%

About 1/3 of all subscribers offered FTTH are not taking it according to RVA quoted in Telephony Online. In underserved areas, it's over 50%. Partly it's because FTTH is developing the reputation as the best service but partly the take rate is up because the companies are able to hook up subscribers faster.

Verizon ramping up FiOS build out
Verizon is now deploying GPON in its network in new developments in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas. GPON offers more bandwidth than the BPON currently used, allowing more features for FiOS TV for example. See this Lightwave article for more info. Where is Verizon offfering FiOS service? See this map.
Want To Learn More About FTTx?
The FOA has created a special FTTx resources section of our website with a FTTx links page with lots of links to news, market reports, technical articles and vendor technical and product information. Here is a great place to start learning more about FTTx.
FOA's CFxT FTTx Certification Program Explained
Read the Broadband Properties article about the FOA FTTx certification program. Read the article about FOA President Jim Hayes being honored for his work promoting FTTH.


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

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

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:
ADC's Book On FTTx
ADC has an excellend book on FTTx. Here is a link to request a copy:

Job Openings

Sales (12/08)

Headquartered in Hayward, California, our client, a successful and profitable Fiber Optics company develops and sells advanced micro photonic solutions that are changing the way their customers operate worldwide. Their breakthrough Fiber Optic Products are based on fairly new technologies that help clients save time and money.

Systems/Sales Engineer – seeking experienced Engineer to sell Optical telecommunications equipment to carriers!
The Sales Engineer will support Sales Directors for pre-sale activities and sales related account management for existing customers.  Pre-sales activities may include completing RFP responses, evaluating customer needs (program and technical), performing the primary role of planning product demonstrations and evaluations (customers or trade shows). Post-sales engagement activities include account based product management to ensure that products are considered for purchase against competitive offers as well as for new applications.

 Required Qualifications:
* A minimum of a Bachelor's degree, preferably in engineering or computer science or equivalent.   
* Aggressive "can-do" attitude
* Previous sales engineering or support experience with optical networking equipment
* Knowledge of GMPLS/Control Plane protocols  (MPLS)
* Entrepreneurial skills
 * Five to ten years experience working as an equipment vendor interacting with customers in Business Development, Sales Engineering and/or pre-sales technical account management roles for lab trial and commercial deployment of network equipment.
* Experience working for small / privately held companies is a plus.

Pay: They pay a base with a quarterly and annual bonus based on percent revenue attainment.

The travel: 75% of time: 2-4 trips per month nationwide; 3-4 trips per year to Asia or Europe

Contact: Angela:


Fiber Splicers - Canada (11/08)
Ledcor Contracting Career Opportunities
Under general supervision the Fibre Optic Splicer provides moderately complex work in fiber optics installation and maintenance, including performance and fusion splicing and testing. Ensuring the quality of buried and aerial optic facilities by overseeing the end result of contractor and/or in-house work and performing activation related duties.

Toronto and Calgary

Field Techs - Telecom and Cabling

FieldSolutions is the leading provider of quality field souring.
We have an immediate need for a field technician experience in TELECOM and CABLING to become a preferred technician.
This preferred technician will operate within a specific geography, there are openings for technicians nationwide.
The duration is ongoing- the requests last from 1-4 hours. The calls are paid hourly or at a flat rate depending on the nature of the call/ client.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Need a strong and flexible field tech to be a Preferred Tech for client to perform TELECOM/CABLING break fix work on a weekly basis.
This assignment is best suited for an easy going technician capable of taking on field related assignments with little supervision and off the cuff.
The tech should be able to handle something as basic as a punch down to the 66 block and as complex as a T1 installation and DMARC testing
TOOLS: Skills/Tools assessment checklist to be provided to potential candidates once established. Must have reliable vehicle capable of carry multiple parts. Must have unlimited cell phone plan as being contacted in the field for potential new calls is a must.
TECH REQUIREMENTS: Strong background in cabling and telecom type calls. Skills/Tools assessment checklist to be provided to potential candidates once established.
Sarah Jackson
Tel: 1.952.288.2512
Field Solutions
5775 Wayzata Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Fiber Optic Splicing Technicians
Volt Telecom Canada is looking for some qualified Fiber Optic splicers to perform work in Alberta. Our first priority is in the Calgary, but there may be other locations throughout the province as well.
Successful candidates would require good experience in spicing underground and aerial fiber optic ribbon cables. Copper cable splicing skills would also be an asset. We are currently looking for individuals who have their own truck and tools and would be interested in becoming a independent contract to Volt Telecom. Volt telecom will provide the fiber optic ribbon fiber splicing equipment.
If you know of any of your association members who would be interested in leaning more about these opportunities please have them contact myself.
Jim Huff
Project Manager - Canada
Volt-Telecom Canada
Office - 780-962-6800
Cell - 780-868-0720
Fax - 780-962-6841

Patchcord Assembler (Cat 5e/6), Southern CA
This person must have at least 2 years experience in patch cable assembly.  Work consists
of cutting and splicing wires and must have knowledge of category 5E and category 6.  Any type
of audio/telephone repair is a must.  Company is located in Laguna Niguel/ position is a temp to
hire and comes with excellent benefits.
Contact Brady Staffing Services at (949)707-1447 or  


Outside Sales Representative

Verrillon is looking for an Outside Sales Representative to sell specialty optical fiber and cable products and development services within an assigned territory. The territory is anticipated to be all accounts in the United States and Canada except for the Oil & Gas market vertical and any house accounts. Objectives will include prospecting on behalf of the assigned territory/region, customer/prospect meetings, product proposals, closing sales, and appropriate follow-up activities via visits, phone, email, etc.
This position requires previous specialty optical fiber sales experience along with a strong understanding of the specialty optical fiber market and competitors. The position is based in North Grafton, MA for local hires. Candidates residing elsewhere in the United States with a home office are also encouraged to apply.
Interested candidates should contact Ed Connor at <> or 508-890-7141.
T. 508-890-7100
F. 508-839-6688

Account Manager, Optical Fibers                              
Location:        Open
Reports To:     Director Marketing and Sales
Position Goals:           Provide direct sales representation and technical assistance, as related to the Company’s Specialty Optical Fibers worldwide
Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Present and sell company products and services to current and potential customers through customer visits and direct customer interaction
Prepare action plans and schedules to identify specific targets and to project the number of contacts to be made
Follow up on new leads and referrals resulting from field activity, trade shows, advertisements, etc.
Identify sales prospects and contact these and other accounts as assigned
Prepare presentations, proposals and sales contracts
Maintain current knowledge of all products, including technology, pricing, and sales strategies, and able to quote, close, process and support a sale as part of the sales team
Establish and maintain current customer and potential customer relationships
Prepare paperwork to activate and maintain contract services
Manage account services through quality checks and other follow-up
Identify and resolve customer concerns
Prepare a variety of status reports, including activity, closings, follow-up, and adherence to goals
Communicate new product and market opportunities, special developments, information, or feedback gathered through field activity to appropriate company staff
Coordinate company staff to accomplish the work required to close sales
Other duties as assigned

Additional Responsibilities:
Participate in marketing events such as seminars, trade shows, and telemarketing events
Follow-up for collection or payment
Coordinate shipping schedules and delivery of products and services

Education and Required Skills:
Four (4) year degree, preferably in Engineering
At least Five (5) years direct experience in sales of fiber optics, optoelectronics or photonics
Self motivator with the ability to plan, meet deadlines and work symbiotically with peers, customers and supervisors

Compensation and Benefits:
Competitive base salary plus commission/bonus
Medical and dental
Long term disability
Life insurance
401K participation with company match

Interested applicants may send their resume to:

Careers at Verizon:


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


Tech Puzzler
What's this graph and why is it important in fiber optic networks?, see below.


Answer below

FOA Logo Merchandise
FOA has arranged with EmbroidMe to provide FOA logo merchandies. Identify yourself as a FOA-certified tech or instructor. The lab coats are super impressive for either cabling techs and instructors. Check out the selection.

FOA Certification Top Choice

The FOA CFOT and CFOS programs continue to gain momentum in fiber optics. Over 25,000 CFOTs have been certified by over 200 schools. Since our founding in July, 1995, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting fiber optics and professionalism in fiber optics personnel, focusing on education and certification. We are continuing to add new schools and more CFOTs as users of fiber optics learn that a CFOT is the indication of a professional, well-trained fiber optic technician. Now with FTTH (fiber to the home) finally taking off, demand for CFOTs is rising and schools are responding by expanding programs rapidly.
The FOA now has approved programs at 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'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.

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

(C)1999-2009, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

Tech Puzzler:
It's a diagram of the bit-error-rate of a fiber optic link. Too little power and the signal to noise ratio increases causing errors. Too much power and the reciever overloads and needs an attenuator. See here for more information.