Fiber Broadband Association’s OpTIC Path fiber-optic training program picks up steam

Sept. 26, 2022
The course is designed to develop the next generation of fiber-optic network installers ahead of the wave of fiber broadband networks expected to result from federal, state, and local government funding programs.

The Fiber Broadband Association has announced additional schools that will offer the associations’ Optical Telecom Installer Certification Path (OpTIC Path) program to their students. The course is designed to develop the next generation of fiber-optic network installers ahead of the wave of fiber broadband networks expected to result from federal, state, and local government funding programs.

After the initial OpTIC Path pilot program launched this past March (see “Fiber Broadband Association offers first OpTIC FTTH installation certification training program”), Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) in Louisiana and Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC) have announced plans to offer the course – this fall in the case of BPCC and next year in terms of NEMCC as part of its existing Workforce curriculum. Both colleges are working with local broadband services companies and other organizations to ensure that the students who graduate from their respective programs meet the local service providers’ needs. BPCC is working with Louisiana’s ConnectLA Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity while NEMCC is in contact with such operators as Alcorn County Electric Power Association, Tippah Electric Power Association, and Tombigbee Fiber. NEMCC also is working with the local service providers to source course instructors and to help draft grant funding proposals for the purchase training equipment.

“There is an obvious opportunity for the fiber industry in Northeast Mississippi. Our state and local leaders are working hard to close the digital divide, and a lot of local industries rely on fiber broadband services to support their transition to smart communications and Internet of Things initiatives,” said Greg James, assistant workforce director at NEMCC. “Our Workforce training curriculum is built to be agile and flexible and to provide immediate relief to local industries, especially in times of transition. The OpTIC Path course is an exciting new addition to our Workforce program. It will enable our college to support the immense opportunity that fiber brings to our students and communities.”

“Louisiana is experiencing incredible success in gaining resources to connect every resident to high-speed internet. But we’ve still got a long road ahead of us. The OpTIC Path program will help us build a solid workforce foundation to ensure we can make it to the finish line,” added Rick Bateman, chancellor at BPCC. “We’re in the middle of a tremendous, historic opportunity to transform our state’s digital equity. At BPCC, we build workforces and right now there is no greater need than training folks that can realize the investment in broadband infrastructure. In 20 to 30 years, I think people will say that we really got this right.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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