FOA proposes standard fiber-optic connector

August 26, 2004 Fallbrook, CA -- The Fiber Optic Association Inc. (FOA), the professional society of fiber optics, has proposed a new fiber-optic connector concept as an industry standard. "What we propose is not new technology," says FOA president Jim Hayes, "but a practical application of current technology, packaged in a way that offers many advantages to everyone involved."

Aug 26th, 2004

b>August 26, 2004 Fallbrook, CA -- The Fiber Optic Association Inc. (FOA), the professional society of fiber optics, has proposed a new fiber-optic connector concept as an industry standard.

A consistent complaint from network equipment manufacturers and end users has been the lack of connector standardization. An estimated 100 connector designs have been manufactured since the late 1970s. According to the FOA, that lack of standardization has been blamed by many as one of the major reasons fiber optics has been unable to penetrate the LAN desktop market where copper cable and connectors benefit from one standard design.

Previous attempts to standardize on a single design have failed because technology was changing too rapidly, applications were too varied, and the process required agreement from manufacturers, each of whom were supporting their own products. By offering a proposed design and offering to coordinate the process, the FOA hopes to gain involvement of end users, network equipment manufacturers, fiber-optic component manufacturers, and industry standards organizations to develop a standard connector that would be widely accepted in the industry.

"The FOA is not making such a proposal in a vacuum," asserts FOA president Jim Hayes. "The Board of the FOA includes a lot of wisdom in fiber-optic component design, manufacture and testing, with most of our members having over 20 years fiber-optic experience. Several of us have been active participants in industry standards activities since the first standards were written," he says. "What we propose is not new technology, but a practical application of current technology, packaged in a way that offers many advantages to everyone involved. Since we have no vested interest in the industry, we can look at the needs of all users without prejudice."

The FOA will make presentations about the proposed connector design at appropriate standards meetings to gage response to the idea. The proposed design can be found in the August issue of the FOA Newsletter on the FOA website at www.thefoa.org/foanewsletter.html.

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