ANSI charters FOA and NECA to develop installation standards

The Fiber Optic Association (FOA--Boston, MA) and the interNational Electrical Contractors Association (neca--Bethesda, MD) have been chartered by the American National Standards Institute (ansi--New York, NY) to develop an installation standard for low-voltage fiber-optics. According to Jim Hayes, FOA`s president, ansi approached neca to develop this standard because neca has already developed standards for high-voltage electrical cable. Neca then asked the FOA to be a partner on this project b

Barbara E. Thompson

The Fiber Optic Association (FOA--Boston, MA) and the interNational Electrical Contractors Association (neca--Bethesda, MD) have been chartered by the American National Standards Institute (ansi--New York, NY) to develop an installation standard for low-voltage fiber-optics. According to Jim Hayes, FOA`s president, ansi approached neca to develop this standard because neca has already developed standards for high-voltage electrical cable. Neca then asked the FOA to be a partner on this project because of its experience in the installation of fiber.

The standard, now in the draft stage, will be reviewed by FOA members before being submitted to ansi. "We`re drafting the standard with the same neca people who worked on the electrical standards, and we (FOA) will input information on fiber-specific issues," says Hayes. "The review process will be the same as that by any other standards group--except that this standard will be written and reviewed by a group that includes a large number of end-users."

The standard will be published as an ansi standard and, once published, will be available through Global Engineering Documents (Englewood, CO). Hayes describes the standard as "good installation practices" and explains: "In the electrical version, the standard is primarily for safety issues. This fiber-optic installation standard is to ensure that installers understand the issues and make certain that, once installed, the fiber- optic components work properly."

As part of the review process, the FOA will solicit comments from its members, most of whom are from the installation or training fields. "We would also like to recruit vendors of fiber-optic components to participate in the process," says Hayes.

The Fiber Optic Association is a professional society open to anyone involved in fiber optics. For information about the FOA, or if you wish to be involved in the review process for this new standard, call (800) 537-8254, or fax (617) 396-6395.

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