The Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA) Fiber Optics LAN Section (FOLS) has elected its 2012 officers. Serving a fifth consecutive term as section chair is Rodney Casteel of CommScope. Vice chair is Alfred Flores of Berk-Tek, a Nexans company; standards chair is Pete Pondillo of Corning; membership chair is Dave Cook of 3M; and co-communications chairs are Michelle Collier, Noyes Fiber Systems and Dave Cunningham of Corning Cable Systems.
FOLS provides information to users about the benefits of fiber in customer-owned networks. Visitors to the organization's website, www.fols.org, can access a free cost model that enables cost estimates for LANs with various media (not strictly fiber). Site users can also register for FOLS webinars, read case histories, standards updates and FAQs about fiber-optic technologies and systems.
Casteel commented, "For the past 17 years, FOLS has played an integral role in helping users and network designers understand the benefits of deploying fiber in customer-owned networks. We provide vendor-neutral information that helps people make an educated choice about their network decisions.
"We offer webinars almost every month," Casteel added. He said the free webinars are "a great way for our members to offer training to interested people worldwide and for network designers, consultants and end users to get the information they need throughout the year." Attendees earn continuing education credits (CECs) from BICSI for their attendance. The webinars air live, and are then available on-demand.
Casteel also noted that the FOLS launched a research initiative in 2011 that has received significant interest and will continue in 2012. "As a group we are in the unique position of being able to survey users and network consultants on a regular basis. We have started to collect and publish this data on our website as a service to the industry."