The "Fiber U Online" course from Fotec Inc. (Medford, MA) offers free instruction in the basics of fiber optics, similar to the material taught in Fotec classroom sessions. The course currently consists of nine lessons: Understanding the Jargon, All About Fiber, Cables and Cabling Networks, Terminations, Datalinks, Testing, OTDRs, How Fiber Is Made, and Calculating the Link "Loss Budget." Each lesson requires students to read a section of online training material from the Fotec web site, followed by a test to check comprehension.
For real-world skills practice, the company sells a self-study program with lesson plans, videos, toolbox, and box full of components to work with (students can either purchase or rent and return the components). Fotec is also beginning to offer virtual hands-on courses online. "Fiber-optic termination" is now available for a fee of $49.99. For more information, visit www.fotec.com or call the Fotec sales department at (800) 537-8254 or fax an order to (781) 396-6395.