TIA’s Fiber Optics LAN Section becomes Fiber Optics Technology Consortium

Group’s chair says the new name better reflects its efforts in data centers, campus environments and emerging applications.

The Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) Fiber Optics LAN Section has changed its name to the Fiber Optics Technology Consortium (FOTC). Rodney Casteel, who chairs the group, commented, “Our new name better reflects our evolving scope. There is so much opportunity now in the use of fiber-optic technology beyond the local area network [LAN] that it made sense for our group to embrace those changes. Fiber-based solutions are now integral to campus environments, data centers and other emerging applications. We are working to disseminate information about them all.”

The FOTC has been part of the TIA since 1994 when it was formed as part of the TIA’s Fiber Optics Division. “Our mission has stayed consistent,” explained Casteel. “We represent technology leaders committed to providing the most current, reliable and vendor-neutral information about fiber optics and related technologies for advancing new and better communications solutions.”

He added that in addition to the change in scope, the new name better describes the way the group works. “The word ‘consortium’ also more accurately describes the collaborative nature of our group. We are companies who are working together to provide an educational resource to the industry. There are so many questions about the technology that offering a unified vision from several companies is meaningful.”

In addition to sponsoring educational webinars, the FOTC maintains this website, which houses white papers, fiber FAQs, presentations, technology information, standards information and the Consortium’s interactive Network Architecture Model. The model allows users to compare different standards-approved architectures—hierarchical star, centralized cabling and fiber-to-the-telecom-enclosure—in ways that allow users to decide which approach works best for their needs. The model also includes information about both fiber and copper media.

“Our Network Architecture Model is really an educational tool,” Casteel explained. “It helps people understand the choices and tradeoffs that are possible using different architectures.” He also said the Consortium is currently updating the model and hopes to release a new version in 2013.

Anyone interested in participating in the FOTC can email TIA’s director of member relations and services, Ancilla Brady.

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