August, 2003

Previous Issues: July 2003, June 2003, March 15, 2003, October, 2002 , August, 2002, May, 2002

The FOA Office Has moved. Please use our new phone, fax and mailing address.

FTTH: Company Seeking Installers May Signal Breakthrough

You may have seen the listing on the FOA home page:

Interested in Installing Fiber To The Home? A major player has openings nationwide! Contact the job search firm : Call Sandy or Yvette, TOLL-FREE (877) 409-0999, Fax resume to (708) 409-8485, or email resume to

We don't have a lot of detail but are working on finding out more. FTTH has been the goal of everyone in the fiber optic industry since the beginning. Now we have fiber in the long haul and metro networks, FTTH is the next obvious step. Cost effectiveness has been the hang-up but maybe the bust in the FO market has driven prices low enough to make it fly.

Stay tuned for more news...

Will New TIA/EIA 568 TSB-140 On Testing Confuse Users?

The TIA is working on a new TSB for fiber optic testing that is supposed to clarify references in 568-B.3 to test procedures. Much as TSB-67 and TSB-95 were written to clarify UTP test procedures for Cat 5 and Cat 5E respectively, TSB-140 is supposed to remove the confusion about what fiber optic tests are required and how to perform them.
Appropriate fiber optic test procedures are covered in many other standards, developed by the fiber optic standards committees of the TIA in the USA and ISO worldwide. 568-B.3 references these procedures, but TSB-140 seems to be designed as a way to have all the material in one place for reference. Thus TSB-140 includes how to make continuity and polarity tests using a visual fault locator, insertion loss tests with a optical loss test set (OLTS) and troubleshooting with an OTDR. As written, TSB-140 has a new twist for TSBs, if offers two "Tiers" of testing. Tier 1 includes insertion loss with an OLTS and Tier 2 adds OTDR testing to the OLTS loss test.
There have been objections to including OTDR testing in TSB-140 as "Tier 2" for several reasons. First of all, the term "Tier" does not appear in any other TIA standard nor is it defined in any standards document, perhaps confusing users as to what "tier" of testing is appropriate in any given situation.
No fiber optic network standard accepts OTDR data for system loss, as it is known to not be correlated to actual network loss which can only be tested with an OLTS. Most OTDRs are not appropriate for testing fiber optic cables in structured cabling systems, as they lack the distance resolution needed and do not give accurate loss data due to their different measurement technique. Few premises cabling installers are adequately trained in interpreting OTDR data and misreading them can cause good cables to be failed and vice versa.
Finally, OTDR testing is expensive, greatly increasing the installed costs of fiber optic cabling. Fiber proponents worry that end users, confused by the "tiers" of TSB-140, will specify unnecessary OTDR testing, and they will be less likely to choose fiber because of the higher costs if OTDR testing is included in the price.
Objections to these issues led to inserting one sentence in the scope of the document saying that Tier 1 testing "constitutes testing in accordance to this TSB." Hopefully that, plus the detailed description of what the use of OTDR testing is, will adequately inform the end user interested in having their fiber optic cabling tested properly.

US Company Finally Sampling 1310 VCSEL Transmitters

Picolight, a Boulder, CO based company, has introduced 1310 VCSEL sources in the form of small-form-factor transceivers. VCSELs (vertical cavity, surface-emitting lasers) revolutionized the 850 nm transmitter business for multimode fiber, offering high power and ultra-high bandwidth at extremely low costs. Moving the technology to 1310 nm for singlemode fiber proved a difficult task, but Picolight has finally begun shipping devices. The VCSEL uses much less electrical power than edge-emitting lasers, reducing heat problems, couples greater power into SM fiber for longer distances and simplifies drive circuits.

1310 VCSELs will be somewhat less expensive than current edge-emitter solutions, but need more volume to produce the same kinds of savings we have seen with 850 VCSELs. Once these devices become inexpensive, using singlemode fiber will be a more sensible solution for >gigabit networks, but many installers and end users will need more training and experience to install SM properly.


Your Name, CFOT

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!

Become a Certified Fiber Optic Instructor

The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) offered again this summer theTrain-the-Trainer program for teachers and instructors that leads to a new FOA CFOS/I Instructor Certification. This "first in the industry" program brings all the expertise of the Fiber Optic Association to the process of training and certifying fiber optic instructors, both in industry and in the academic world. In addition, those coming to the course will receive the FOA's complete training program for teaching a CFOT course.

You missed Cincinnati, but more are planned. Contact us for times and places.

Dates & Places
July 21-25, Gateway Community College, Highland Heights, KY (Cincinnati, Ohio)
A west coast session and one in New England are being planned. Return the application form to show your interest
Full information of the 2003 Train-the-Trainer TTT program.

Download the Train-The-Trainer Application (PDF file, 56kB)

For information or questions, contact Jim Hayes at or call him at 1-760-451-3655.


Remember To Renew Your Membership !

Remember to renew your FOA membership to retain your CFOT certification. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form or the FOA online store to renew NOW!

Want To Get FOA Email?
We have been asked if we could send the FOA newsletter by email or post it on the website. We are looking into that and will definitely get one started soon. When you renew, you will be asked if you are interested in email newsletters and if so, you will be asked to give your email address for us to use in a mailing list. If you want to get started now, send an email to with the subject "eMail List"
Note that The FOA never releases its mailing lists for any use! Your data is always safe with us.

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

Officers and
Board of Directors
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
Eric Pearson, Director of Certification
Tom Collins, Gateway Comm. College
Van Ewert, AESA
FOA Staff:
Jim Hayes, newsletter, website editor
Karen Hayes, Administration

The FOA is managed under contract by:
1119 S Mission Road, # 355
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Telephone: 760-451-3655
Fax: 781-207-2421
FOA Board of Advisors
Elias Awad, Clerk, Director of Education
Tony Beam
Dave Chaney
F. Douglas Elliot, Past President
William H. Graham
Jim Hayes, President, Treasurer
John Highhouse, Past President
Danny S. Lyall
Eric Y. Loytty
Bob Mason
Eric Pearson
Paul Rosenberg, Past President
Dan Silver
Richard James Smith
Dominick Tamone
Tom Collins
Van Ewert

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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