The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) announced the launch of its Optical Telecom Installation Certification (OpTIC) program with the pilot course starting on March 29, 2022, in partnership with Greenlight Community Broadband and Wilson Community College in Wilson, N.C.
“We are currently engaged with 23 states to roll out this fiber optic technician training program with their community college systems and fiber optic broadband service providers. We look to reach all 50 states and the U.S. territories by the end of the year,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association.
The FBA forecasts that more fiber will be deployed in the next five years than has been deployed in the past 20 years, but the need for skilled fiber optic technicians will significantly impact each state’s ability to deploy broadband. The FBA’s OpTIC program teaches the knowledge and skills required to properly install, test and maintain high-speed fiber broadband networks.
“It is the FBA’s mission to accelerate the deployment of fiber-based broadband so that every community can leverage the economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver,” said Gary Bolton, President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association.
The OpTIC program was inspired by the late Gene Scott, a long-time community broadband advocate, Chairman of the FBA’s Education Committee and General Manager Outside Plant of Greenlight Community Broadband in Wilson, N.C., where the first pilot course will be based. The Wilson Community College class will be led by Larry Johnson, FBA Technology Committee Member and President at FiberStory, and Jimmi Hendricks of Greenlight Community Broadband.
FBA will host Train the Trainer workshops at its Fiber Connect 2022 event this June in Nashville, Tenn., as well as at Regional Fiber Connect events throughout the year, starting in Baton Rouge, La., on March 23.