Welcome to Fiber UFiber U is the FOA online learning website. Here you will find free online self-study programs, tutorials, textbooks, videos, iPad apps and links to other FOA pages that will help you learn about fiber optics and premises cabling. For more information on the FOA and its certification programs, go to the FOA home page. For information on other use of this material, go here.
Basic Skills Lab
Fiber U has created a new online self-study program for those who have the equipment for installing fiber optics and want to learn how to use it properly.
While you cannot learn hands-on skills necessary for fiber optic techs by taking an online course, if you have the equipment, the new Fiber U Basic Skills Lab can help you learn on your own. In this course we use our YouTube Videos and "Virtual Hands-On" tutorials to give you step by step instructions and lots of hints on how to prepare cables, splice, terminate and test them.
Get a "Certificate of Completion" for taking the Fiber U "Basics of Fiber Optics" or "Premises Cabling" online self-study programs.
Fiber U offers online self-study programs for those who want to take the online "Basic Fiber Optics" or "Premises Cabling" course and get a "Certificate of Completion" for the course.
This "Basic Fiber Optics'" course is a series of self-study lessons covering the basics of fiber optics. It uses the FOA Online Reference Guide, YouTube videos or a copy of The FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics textbook, available in printed or eBook form. You study the reference materials and test your comprehension with the online quizzes.
Fiber U Premises Cabling (Copper, Fiber And Wireless)
This "Premises Cabling" program covers copper cabling (UTP and coax), fiber optic cabling and wireless (or more precisely, cabling for wireless.) This program uses the FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, Premises Cabling Section, YouTube videos or a copy of the FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cabling textbook, available in printed or eBook form. You study the reference materials and test your comprehension with the online quizzes.
After completion of either course, you can take an online exam at nominal cost ($20US) and get a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion" for the online course.
Please note: receiving this Fiber U Certificate of Completion does not include FOA certification or membership but it does become documentation of your knowledge of fiber optics and should be part of your portfolio of documented knowledge, other training and work experience that can qualify you to apply for FOA direct CFOT certification through the FOA "Work to Cert" program.
For more information on the FOA and its certification programs, go to the FOA page on certification.
For information on the FOA "Work to Cert" direct certification program for those with industry experience, go here.
Free FOA Self-Study Programs
Below are links to FOA's Fiber U FREE online self-study programs and tutorials for those wanting to learn more about fiber optics. We'll always be adding more self-study programs, video and online webinar lectures and other education resources the FOA will provide free to help everyone learn more about fiber optics.
FOA "The Basics" Self-Study Programs - All Free!
May be used as preparation for the CFOT Exam
A 10-part series of self-study lessons covering the basics of fiber optics. You can use the FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics or a copy of The FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, available in printed or eBook form. Study the reference materials and test your comprehension with the online quizzes. Designed as a preparation for those taking the CFOT Certification directly or planning to attend an FOA-approved course and want to prepare ahead of time.
Basic Skills Lab (Fiber Optics)
While you cannot learn hands-on skills necessary for fiber optic techs by taking an online course, if you have the equipment, the Fiber U Basic Skills Lab can help you learn on your own. In this course we use our YouTube Videos and "Virtual Hands-On" tutorials to give you step by step instructions and lots of hints on how to prepare cables, splice, terminate and test them.This course is designed for those who have already completed the Basic Fiber Optics course, have access to equipment and a variety of components and want to learn the processes of fiber optic installation on their own.
Outside Plant Fiber Optics
May be used as preparation for the CFOS/O Exam
Another 10-part self-study program on outside plant fiber optics, covering the outdoor networks used by telcos, wireless operators, CATV companies, utilities, etc. This program uses the FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, OSP Section or a copy of The FOA Reference Guide to Outside Plant Fiber Optics, available in printed or eBook form. Study the reference materials and test your comprehension with the online quizzes. Additional reading is included for advanced study. Note: this is an expanded version of the Basic program above to include specific issues of OSP installations.
Premises Cabling (Copper, Fiber And Wireless)
May be used as preparation for the CPCT Exam
This 8-part self-study program covers premises cabling, including copper (UTP and coax), fiber and wireless (or more precisely, cabling for wireless.) This program uses the FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, Premises Cabling Section or a copy of the FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cabling, available in printed or eBook form. Study the reference materials and test your comprehension with the online quizzes. Additional reading is included for advanced study.
FOA "Specialist" Self-Study Programs - All Free!
Skills-Based Courses and Certifications
Fiber Optic Testing
May be used as preparation for the CFOS/T Exam
The Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing self-study program is aimed at everyone working in fiber optics. This 6 part series of lessons covers the full scope of fiber optic testing, one of the most complex topics in fiber optics. We've divided the course into lessons that cover an overview of fiber optic testing, test tools and instruments, visual testing, insertion loss, OTDRs and a catch-all final lesson covering a number of other topics. We use the FOA YouTube Videos for most of the lessons plus pages from our online guide to provide the basic materials for study but we also provide links to many additional topics that may apply to your particular applications. For those just interested in OTDRs, there is a separate program on that subject below.
Understanding OTDRs And OTDR Testing
May be used as preparation for the CFOS/T Exam
This is a 4-part series on understanding one of the more important testing tools in fiber optics. OTDRs are valuable test tools but require more depth of understanding to use properly. This self-study program will review fiber optic testing, look at how OTDRs work and how their test data is analyzed. It also explains testing artifacts like "gainers" and "ghosts" that can be very confusing. This program uses the FOA Online Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, OSP Section or, for Lesson 1 only, a copy of The FOA Reference Guide to Outside Plant Fiber Optics, available in printed or eBook form. Part of this course is a free OTDR simulator you can download and run on your PC.
Applications-Based Courses And Certifications - All Free!
FTTx Fiber To The Home, Premises, Business, Curb, etc.
May be used as preparation for the CFOS/H Exam
This 6-part series will introduce you to the varieties of ways that fiber optics is moving closer or all the way to the subscriber. While some refer to it as FTTH (fiber to the home), we also have FTTC (curb), FTTP (premises) and even a new acronym, FTTW (wireless), and this self-study program will cover all the varieties. While all varieties of FTTx are covered, most of the course focuses on FTTH PON networks. Take this course and you will learn about all the options for FTTx, what network architectures look like, what standards exist, and get an overview of how they are installed and tested. A final session will cover design of FTTx and give you a design exercise to complete. This course is designed for everyone interested in FTTx. Those new to fiber optics or in management roles can use this course to familiarize themselves with FTTx technologies, while those with fiber backgrounds will learn how to implement FTTx from this course.
Optical LANs (OLANs)
May be used as preparation for the CFOS/L Exam
Optical LANs or OLANs, are a new way to build LANs using an all optical fiber cable plant and electronics derived from fiber to the home (FTTH). Sometimes also referred to as fiber to the desk or FTTD, POLs, POLANs, passive optical LANs or FTTO, fiber to the office, these are LANs (local area networks) that are based on optical fiber cabling, not copper, and are of great interest to many contractors, installers and end users. OLANs have been covered extensively in the trade press and are being promoted by many vendors, so there is plenty of interest in learning more about them. This course will provide an overview of the three types of optical LANs, their advantages over traditional LANs and how to design, install and test them.
Fiber Optic Network Design
May be used as preparation for the CFOS/D Exam
This 8-part series is a series of self-study lessons on how to design a fiber optic network. It's not how to create drawings! It's about how to evaluate customer needs for communications links, choose equipment, design the cable plant, choose components, create a plan, manage the install and finish the paperwork. The final lesson is 9 case studies of various networks where you have to make the right choices. The course assumes you have a basic knowledge of fiber optics at the CFOT/CFospT/CPCT level.
If you are interested in taking this course for FOA CFOS/D certification, contact FOA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOA Certification Programs
Unless you already have field experience, you can't get FOA CFOT® or CPCT certified just by taking online courses because you can't develop hands-on skills needed for fiber optics on a computer! But using these self-study courses, you can prepare yourself for training at one of our hundreds of FOA-Approved schools around the world, refresh your knowledge from your own CFOT training or study for FOA exams if you are experienced in fiber optics and want to apply for direct certification. If you do have field experience, you may qualify for the FOA direct certification program. Contact us for more information.
Study Guides For FOA Certification Exams: If you have proper industry experience, you can apply for direct certification from the FOA. Here are quick self-study guides to help you prepare for the FOA certification exams.
Join Us On LinkedIn
FOA has started a LinkedIn group on "Fiber Optic Training" where you will find discussions on fiber optic training, listings of training courses and even some free "instructor-led" courses. Join the FOA LinkedIn group on "Fiber Optic Training."
Need need to know how to test a fiber optic cable plant, patchcords or system electronics? Here are "QuickStart Guides" to fiber optic testing that can help you learn it in minutes!Fiber Optic Cable Plant And Patchcord Testing
Power Measurements in Fiber Optic Communications Systems
Testing The Cable Plant With An OTDR
FOA iPad App - Self-Study in Fiber Optics
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. It builds on the iBook electronic version of the book to add a guide to use for self-study and real-time self-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.
Reference Books from The FOA
Basic Fiber Optics - Premises Cabling - Outside Plant Fiber Optics
We have created three FOA books to be used in training for FOA certifications and as reference books for contractors, installers and end users of fiber optics. All three books are available in printed form from the FOA eStore or Amazon.com, or as eBooks on the Amazon Kindle or as Apple iBooks for the iPad/iPhone/iPod.
Click on the books above for more information and ordering instructions.
The FOA is using YouTube to host a large number of instructional videos including lecture series on fiber optics and premises cabling plus dozens of hands-on videos.
See the FOA Lecture Series and dozens of hands-on instructional videos and lectures about fiber optics and premises cabling on the FOA YouTube Channel - "thefoainc"
Here is a listing of all the current FOA YouTube Videos
These two guides are simple introductions to the subjects. They will explain the applications, jargon, components and installation in a quick overview.
Use of Fiber U Material
This information is provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a benefit to those interested in teaching, designing, manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic communications systems or networks. It is intended to be used as a overview and/or basic guidelines and in no way should be considered to be complete or comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a basis for learning, as a reference and for creating their own documentation, project specifications, etc. Those working with fiber optics in the classroom, laboratory or field should follow all safety rules carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any of this material.
(C)2010-15, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.