you finish this Fiber U Course, you may take an online
exam for your Fiber U Certificate of Completion.
already working in
contractors and installers of fiber optic cable plants
- Users of
fiber optic cable plants and communications systems
involved in designing and managing networks
be used as preparation for the FOA CFOS/T
Exam which covers the same basic material in this
- Advanced -
experienced technicians wanting to know about fiber
- Technician -
enhancing their knowledge, preparing for FOA CFOT exam
enhancing and updating their knowledge
From this self-study program you should learn:
- What needs testing in fiber optics? - components,
cable plants, networks
- What equipment is needed to perform the tests
- How are these tests performed?
- What options exists for making the tests?
- How are the tests affected by network types (telco,
long haul, LAN, FTTx, etc.)?
- How to calculate loss budgets to compare to test
- When testing loss, what is the expected value?
- How accurate are the tests? How can they be made more
- What documentation should be kept on the tests?
- How is troubleshooting done?
- How does one write a test plan as part of a SOW (scope
- What are common mistakes made in testing?
- What standards apply to testing and how to use them?
self-study course may be used as preparation for
metrology: noun, the scientific study of measurement.
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Greek metron ‘measure’ +
should come as no surprise that there is a science for
measurements. That science, called metrology, is dedicated
to ensuring that measurements are made in the proper
method and that the uncertainty of the measurement is
known. Therefore, since we will treat fiber optic testing
as a serious scientific topic, we could justify calling
this self-study program a "metrology program." But don't
assume it's too difficult; the purpose of this self-study
program is to help the student understand "the science" of
fiber optic testing, it's purposes, methods and
limitations. We're just going to skip the hype and myths
and focus on the real world.
is fiber optic testing important? Most of the technical
questions we get at FOA are about testing problems.
Sometimes it is about how to test, but more often it's
about some test that has already been done but the answer
is confusing. Not understanding testing or how to
interpret the results of testing can be extremely
expensive. We have seen perfectly good cable plants ripped
out because they were tested improperly or test results
misinterpreted. We have seen installers have to retest
entire systems at their own expense because they tested
Perhaps the single most common cause of testing problems
is lack of understanding of how to properly use test
instruments and accessories. With this Fiber U self-study
program we will try to make fiber optic testing simpler to
understand by breaking the testing process into six steps,
the same steps we use in our FOA standards:
1. What needs to be tested?
2. What equipment is needed to perform
3. What are the procedures for making
4. What are the options required to
implement the tests under various conditions?
5. What are the sources of error in the
6. What documentation is required for
order of these steps is important, since it is the
sequence of how one solves the problem of testing
performance values for the component, subsystem or system
and establishes the validity and precision of the
measurement. Once one describes the test methodology
itself, it is appropriate to describe the contributions to
the uncertainty of the measurement (potential errors) and
ways to reduce that uncertainty. Of course, after the test
is completed, documentation is needed to validate the
record of the tests.
There is a lot of material to cover here, so let's get
for taking this Fiber U self-study course:
is assumed that the student has a basic knowledge of fiber
optics at least at the basic CFOT or CPCT level. Review of
basic fiber optics can be done on the Fiber U website with
either the Basic
Cabling or OSP
self-study courses or by viewing videos on the FOA YouTube
Students will be instructed to read the references, watch
videos and take the quizzes (Test Your Knowledge) to
complete the "classroom" part of the course. Several case
studies are included where students will be quizzed on
their troubleshooting skills.
a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion" When You
Complete The Course
After you complete the Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing
online self-study course, you can now take an online
exam and, when you pass the exam, get a "Certificate
of Completion" for this course. You should complete
all lessons including taking the quiz ("Test Your
Comprehension") at the end of every lesson. When you
think you are prepared, you can take an online exam
for a nominal fee ($20) which will give you a
"Certificate of Completion" for this course.
you are working on FOA certification, print out
(PDF) your completed case studies from Lesson 8
and save along with your Fiber U Certificate of
Completion for your application for
To Get Your Certificate of Completion
For This Course
you finish all lessons, go here
to take the Fiber U Fiber Optic
Testing Certificate of
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.
details on getting a Fiber U Certificate of
Completion are on the last lesson. Read
more about the Fiber U Certificate of
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
offers a specialist certification in testing (CFOS/T) that
is available to any CFOT or CPCT. Many FOA
teach CFOS/T courses. Current FOA members with appropriate
industry experience may apply to take the online course
for credit toward their requirements for the CFOS/T
certification and apply for the certification exam.
Contact the FOA for more details and an application.
Online FOA Reference
Reference Guide to Fiber Optics( general),
Reference Guide to Outside Plant Fiber Optics( general),
FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optic Testing,
Available from Amazon and most booksellers.
Testing is also covered in these FOA textbooks in a more condensed form:
Reference Guide to Fiber Optics, Chapter 8
Reference Guide to Outside Plant Fiber Optics, Chapter 8
with individual links as appropriate
Assignments beyond the basics required for the course will
be listed as extra credit.
The Quizzes To Learn
At the end of each lesson there is a quiz in the section
"Test Your Knowledge." The quiz asks questions about the
material you have just studied. When you answer all the
questions in the quiz, click on the button "Check Your
Work" and it will grade the exam, give you correct answers
on questions you miss and give you an explanation of why
the answer is correct.
You can take the Testing
Lab lessons in the Fiber U Basic Skills Lab to use
what you learn here to make actual measurements. The Basic
Skills Lab requires you have the proper equipment and
gives directions on how to use all the instruments needed
to make the basic fiber optic tests. The Do-It-Yourself Basic Skills Labs also include testing.
Plan No. 1: Overview of fiber optic testing
Plan No. 2, Fiber optic test parameters and instruments
Plan No. 3, Visual inspection, tracing and fault location
Plan No. 4, Testing the cable plant, insertion loss
Plan No. 5, OTDR Testing
Plan No. 6, Testing for components, networks and
Lesson Plan No. 7. Fiber characterization for long haul high speed networks.
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 an
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.