Whether you are a seasoned technician or you are a novice to fiber optics, training can benefit all levels of technicians. There are a number of different aspects of training that can assist fiber technicians with the always changing technology, getting credits that are needed to maintain certifications or to train people that are brand new to fiber optic technology. In the fiber optic world, training is a big part of learning the changes that have occurred throughout the years or even learning about new technologies that are coming out so you can stay ahead of the game. In the world of fiber optics, if you are not learning new methods and up to speed on new technology then you are not pushing yourself or your company to where you should be. Let’s discuss the different reasons below about why it will benefit you, not only to go through trainings, but make sure you have the correct training for your needs.

BICSI Certifications

BICSI stands for Building Industry Consulting Service International. It is an organization that helps support the education of, is a source of information for and a respected leader in the knowledge assessment of the people in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) community. One of the reasons that people should attend training regularly and actually need to attend regular training is what is known as BICSI Certification and the Continuing Education clause that requires that a certified technician have a certain number of BICSI Continuing Education Credits per year in order to keep the certification they have earned. One of the main BICSI certifications is the RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) Certification. Quoted from the BICSI website they say “Those who achieve the RCDD designation have demonstrated their knowledge in the creation, planning, integration, execution and/or detailed-oriented project management of telecommunications and data communications technology”. Along with this certification you will see Outside Plant Designer (OSP), Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC) and several other certifications that BICSI offers to assist the communications and information technology world. There are a number of classes that have BICSI credits attached to them that will assist in making sure a BICSI Certified fiber optic technician will be able to keep their status registered and active. The BICSI credits you receive from attending a training session will vary depending on the type of training and also the depth of the subject matter that the training will cover. There are several different levels of certification for BICSI. Each level of certification will have its own requirements that you will need to follow. For more info on BICSI you can visit their website at www.bicsi.org.

Improving Technology

Training is not only beneficial to improve yourself; it will also assist in keeping you up to speed on the changing and improving technology in the field of information technology and communications. In fiber optics one thing that people are trying to improve is the amount of bandwidth that travels over a fiber at a time. We have seen this go from 10 Megabits, to 100 Megabits, then 1 Gigabit. Now we are seeing speeds as fast as 10 Gigs up and running. In the works there are 40 Gigabits, 100 Gigabits and even 400 Gigabit transmissions. With all these changes will come new ways to run fiber as well as different technologies that will allow us to be able to achieve these higher bandwidths and faster speeds. One way that this has changed is the introduction of the OM5 type of multimode fiber. It is known as a Wide Band Multimode fiber which allows the fiber to increase support for higher bandwidth by fourfold. What this means is that this type of fiber will allow you to run four different wavelengths on a single multimode fiber. Before the introduction of OM5 Wide Band Multimode Fiber, in order to achieve this higher bandwidth, you had to run four different pairs of fiber, a total of 8 individual fibers, four of the fibers being used to transmit the signal, and the other four fibers to receive the signal coming from the other direction. So now the fiber has a much wider range of wavelengths typically from 850nm to 953nm, as well as 1300nm. Whereas previous multimode fibers were stuck with a shorter wavelength span that could be run effectively on the fiber. When looking at new technology for fiber you tend to be figuring out how to fit more bandwidth over a single fiber or trying to have a higher density in a smaller space. LC connectors are being used in high popularity due to the higher density they provide in smaller spaces.

New to Fiber

An obvious need for training in general is when you have to hire new people because a company is expanding or to replace retiring employees. Although you will try to look for an experienced fiber optic technician, there is not always an employee available with the experience that is needed. Therefore you must hire someone that is new to the industry. These new fiber optic technicians will have to be properly trained through classes as well as hands-on experience on the job. There are several different types of classes out there as well that will help to ease you into the fiber world. There are the basics that go over the concepts of fiber optics as well as what started the concept of using light over fiber (glass) and there are expert classes to cover topics like fiber characterization. As a newer employee gets into the job and gets some knowledge under his or her belt, the experience level of trainings will need to be increased as needed.

Different Levels of Training

There are many different types of trainings for fiber optics. You have basic classes as well as specific classes that dig deeper into a single topic. Basic classes will get into the idea of light traveling over glass. Other topics might include the history of fiber optics as well as digging into a wide variety of knowledge such as the different cable jacket ratings and the difference between single mode and multimode fiber. An expert level of training may be about Fiber Characterization of optical fiber links and what is needed to certify a fiber link. Two of the most sought after training topics have to do with fusion splicing optical fiber and how to use an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) as well as fiber testing in general. These trainings are highly sought after because these are two of the key activities when you are installing and maintaining a fiber optic network. If you can use a fusion splicer and an OTDR, in this industry, it can open up a wide array of career paths and you can work in any part of the world, as fiber is literally all over the world. .