WCC Offers Fiber Optics Tech and Specialist Courses in Partnership with Troy Cablevision

This August, Wallace Community College was one of only two Alabama institutions to offer a Certified Fiber Optics Technician as well as a Certified Fiber Optic Outside Plant Specialist course in partnership with Troy Cablevision. These courses were designed to provide training for entry- and intermediate-level fiber optic technicians. “The genesis of this program was anticipating the push to broadband,” says Joe Johnson, Director of Workforce Development at Wallace Community College. “With the world moving to fiber, these courses will help upskill our current Wiregrass workforce.”

“Broadband is critical infrastructure and having the workforce to develop, operate and repair it is essential,” says Troy Cablevision CEO Jake Cowen. “It seemed to be a perfect fit to partner with Wallace Community College to bring fiber optic communications into their tool belt, as the College is at the forefront the of the technical training of our local workforce.”

The Certified Fiber Optics Technician (CFOT) introductory 3-day (24 hours) CFOT course is designed for anyone interested in becoming a Certified Fiber Optic Technician. This Fiber Optic Training combines theory and hands-on activities to prepare the student to take the Certified Fiber Optic Technician test sanctioned by the Fiber Optics Association and given and graded the final class day.

In this course, students learned how to identify fiber types, recognize various connectors used in fiber installation, and install, terminate, splice, and properly test installed fiber cable to existing standards. This program explores the history and future of fiber optics and fiber optics capabilities, as well as basic testing and troubleshooting. This course also introduces the student to industry standards governing Fiber To The Desk (FTTD), Fiber To The Home (FTTH), and Distribution Cabling. The fee for the course is $850.

The Certified Fiber Optic Outside Plant Specialist (CFOS/O) course was available to take after completion of the initial CFOT course. This in-person advanced specialist fiber optic training 2-day (16 hour) course is designed to offer advanced training to anyone involved with the testing and maintenance of fiber optics networks. CFOS/O is the FOA certification for technicians installing outside plant (OSP) fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. This includes OSP construction and installation of aerial and underground cable plants. The skills focus includes installing and cable preparation of OSP cables, fusion splicing for concatenation and termination and testing with a focus on OTDRs.

Students will be able to effectively and efficiently troubleshoot, test, identify, and repair OSP fiber network cabling, and provide Quality Assurance procedures to minimize or eliminate future network outages. This program prepares the student to take the CFOS/O exam given and graded at the end of class. The fee for the course is $750.

Courses were taught by instructor Nicholas Gilmore, a Wallace Community College graduate and owner of Plan B Fiber Optics. Additional offerings of this program are anticipated in the future.

For more information on the CFOT and CFOS/O programs at Wallace Community College, please contact Joe Johnson at jjohnson@wallace.edu or 334-556-2390 or visit www.wallace.edu.