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Tukwila, WA, February 8, 2011 — Professionals in the growing utility fiber optic network industry will have the opportunity to become officially certified in fiber optic network technologies through a certification offered by the Utility Telecom Council (UTC). The first UTC Fiber Optics Professional (FOP) Level 1, 2, and 3 Certification examinations will take place May 9–10 in Long Beach, CA prior to UTC TELECOM 2011, an annual conference managed by the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC), a global trade association representing utilities and their vendor partners on critical communication issues.

Prior to the UTC Certification exam, a preparation course will be conducted by The Light Brigade to prepare utility professionals to take the UTC certification exams. Further information on the curriculum, study materials and fees, as well as a link to register for the course, can be found on both The Light Brigade’s and the Utilities Telecom Council’s website. An option to combine registration for the Fiber Optic course and certification with attendance at UTC TELECOM 2011 is also being offered.

Following each preparatory course level, the certification examination will be made available. To achieve the three-year UTC FOP designation, exam takers will have to demonstrate knowledge of fiber optics as indicated by a correct score of 80 percent or greater on the exam. Names of those who pass the exam will be entered into the UTC FOP database maintained by the UTC for confirmation by prospective employers and others.

Certification is not directed at specific vendor equipment, but rather at establishing a professional competence regarding a broad base of utility fiber optic based technology.

“The Light Brigade, working in conjunction with UTC, will develop the training classes to prepare utility professionals to take and pass the new UTC Fiber Optic Professional Certification Exams,” stated Patrick Dobbins, Vice President and General Manager of The Light Brigade. “Having a specific utility-based certification program will further support the communications industry by addressing the design, installation and maintenance of fiber optic networks that are unique to the utility right-of-way environment.”

The course and the certification examination will address topics such as critical building, aerial and underground fiber optic networks on distribution and transmission, as well as rights-of-ways issues. Key parameters such as network design, installation, testing, troubleshooting and operations of fiberoptics networks utilizing OPGW, ADSS and Loose Tube fiber optic cables will be covered in detail.

"The rapid growth in fiber optic networks by utilities is creating a demand for professional staff that is trained in the design, installation and operations of fiber optic technology." said William R. Moroney, President and CEO of Utilities Telecom Council. "The purpose of the UTC FOP certification is to define recognized competency levels in the knowledge and skills required to design, build and operated fiber optic networks in the unique utility environment.

“The UTC FOP certification is the first of several critical utility communications certifications that UTC will be launching,” noted Moroney. “These certifications will be valuable professional development tools for utility telecom and IT professionals as well as essential management tools for their supervisors.”

The program is aimed at utility installers, technicians and supervisors for the UTC FOP Level 1 and for utility engineers, designers, supervisors, and management staff for the UTC FOP Level 2 and Level 3. Anyone interested in receiving an email notification on future course dates and examination procedures should visit the Utilities Telecom Council online at or The Light Brigade online at

For additional information on The Light Brigade, visit, email or call 1(800) 451-7128 of 1(206) 575-0404.
About The Light Brigade
The Light Brigade, a division of AFL, is the world’s leading fiber optic training company having trained over 40,000 students in its public and customized classes. The curriculum covers the entire spectrum of fiber optics from basic theory and design to maintenance and testing, through advanced topics such as FTTx, DWDM, SONET, PMD/CD, and fiber-optic video transmission. The Light Brigade also produces professional-quality educational DVDs and CDs, a self-paced computerized training module, and self-study courses. For more information on The Light Brigade’s educational programs, visit
Utilities Telecom Council
The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) is a global, full-service trade association dedicated to creating a favorable business, regulatory, and technological environment for members. Founded in 1948, UTC has evolved into a dynamic organization that represents the broad communications interests of electric, gas, and water utilities; natural gas pipelines; other critical infrastructure entities and other industry stakeholders. Visit for more information on UTC and its services.