An Optical Telecom Installation Certification (OpTIC) program has been launched by the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) with the pilot course starting on March 29, 2022, in partnership with Greenlight Community Broadband and Wilson Community College in Wilson, North Carolina. The program was designed by leading fiber broadband experts to quickly scale fiber technician education, fill the existing fiber skills gap and accelerate fiber deployments across North America.

“We are currently engaged with 23 states to roll out this fiber optic technician training program with theirSource: FBASource: FBA 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 FBA. “We did a limited launch with veterans earlier this month and are phasing our rollout based on training institute readiness.”

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.

This course covers the fundamental principles of how to properly install, test and maintain fiber optic networks. The class will consist of 144 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on skills training. Individuals completing the course may be eligible for an internship or registered U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship (2,000 hours) with a communications service provider or installation contractor.

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