FOA Backs New Classification for Fiber Optic Cabling Systems


The Fiber Optic Association Inc. (FOA) is encouraging the adoption of more simplified nomenclature for fiber optic cabling systems based on international standards.

For years, users have specified UTP cabling systems by referring to them simply as “Cat 5.” FOA would like its certified fiber optic technicians (CFOT), training schools and certified instructors to begin using “OM3” to easily reference fiber optic systems consisting of laser-optimized 50/125 micron fiber with LC connectors.

The simplified specification is necessary to assure users that fiber offers equal if not more standardization than UTP copper and will help create a “de facto” standard in the industry, says FOA President Jim Hayes.

By adopting a standard name like “OM3” to describe the fiber cabling, users can begin to understand that fiber is not more complicated than copper, he says.

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