September, 2003

Previous Issues: August 2003, 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.

 FOA Holds Train-The-Trainer Course

The FOA held its second TTT course at Gateway Community and Technical College. Nine students and two instructors participated in the course, leading to the new FOA CFOS/I Instructor certification.

Bill Graham, shown here, taught a session on POF (plastic optical fiber) to the class. As part of the program, all students taught a short session for practice and critique.

The next TTT program is planned for CA around the beginning of 2004.


Please contact the FOA staff at, if you are interested in attending the CA session.








FOA's 2003 TTT Class: (L>R): Rene Garcia, David Tyree, Henry Kosiba, Instructor Bob Hickey (kneeling), Ken Windham, Jorge Garcia, Andrew Bandola, Instructor Tom Collins, Patrick Cahill, Bill Graham, Misssing: Oscar Rodriguez

Natural Fibers Discovered By Bell Labs Make Humans Look Dumber Than A Sponge

A recent discovery by Bell Labs scientists indicates that nature may have a better method of making optical fibers. A deep sea sponge called the Venus Flower Basket, makes optical fibers similar to the ones we use for communications.

The Bell Labs team, led by Joanna Aizenberg, say that the fibers transmit light as well as commercial fibers but have much greater strength and flexibility! "These biological fibers bear a striking resemblance to commercial telecommunications fibers, as they use the same material and have similar dimensions," said Aizenberg.

These fibers are only 2-7 inches long and are about the same diameter as a commercial fiber - roughly the size of the human hair. They have a concentric structure similar to commercial optical fibers. The inner layer is pure silica glass and surrounding layers have different optical properties.

Since the fibers are grown at low temperatures, unlike current OVD and MVCD methods that work at melted-glass temperatures, these fibers are not brittle and can contain traces of sodium which enhances light transmission. In addition, the sponge grows an organic coating on the fiber that makes it strong and flexible, so flexible they can be tied in a knot!

(Not mentioned in the Bell Labs announcement, but it whets our interest, is that the fibers retain this flexibility in spite of being immersed in water - while moisture is a big problem for commercial fibers.

You can read the complete Bell Labs Story here.


KMI's Fiberoptics Conference to Cover Short-haul and Non-telecom Systems, Plus NEW Components Track

Providence, Rhode Island - From September 29 through October 1, 2003, KMI Research will host its 26th Annual Newport (RI) Conference on Fiberoptics Markets (NCFM). A new development at this year's conference will be the addition of a components track, organized by KMI's sister company, Strategies Unlimited.

The goal in planning the overall program has been to address the questions raised most frequently in the past year:

* What's the status of fiber-to-the-home; what do the recent FCC decisions mean, what can be concluded from the regional Bell company RFP in the summer of 2003?
* What's happening in metro applications, what technologies are being taken up, how fast is that segment growing, how much does it offset the collapse in long-distance?
* What's the status of fiber-to-the-business, how many business buildings have a fiber connection to telecom networks, what is the outlook for connecting more?
* What non-telecom applications might offer growth opportunities?
* What are good strategies for components suppliers after the collapse in telecom, what components are the system manufacturers looking for to help them better serve the communications markets?

All of these questions are part of this year's mission to help companies in the optical networking industry allocate resources to more successfully pursue market segments after the collapse of the long-distance or backbone markets. To get the answers to the questions above, KMI has turned to speakers from a wide range of companies that have insight into these issues.
For a complete listing of speakers and topics, go to


The FOA will attend the KMI Conference and report back on the industry's pulse.

New Tech Topics

Plastic Optical Fibers (POF)

Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

Fiber Amplifiers

Eric Pearson's Newsletters - with some tests on connectors.

Interested In Advanced Certification?

If you think you might, download and print yourself a FOA Logbook to keep track of your experience and traning. It will help you qualify for the CFOS certifications.

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. 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 your certification, 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
Bill Graham
Karen Hayes
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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