Recently Viscar conducted an open training in fibre optics at our training venue in Nairobi, the Knowledge Room. Just like all other trainings that we have conducted, we took time to listen to the participants as they share their experience during the five days they had to interact with us. What stood out was how much each participant got to appreciate the knowledge that they had gained with regards to fibre technology and more importantly how they intended to use the knowledge acquired to improve the quality of the projects that they are currently handling and those were to handle in the near future.

A fibre optic project may have various phases such as installation, survey, audit, maintenance etc. Various companies in Kenya are quickly taking up various contracts for these jobs as internet service providers (ISPs) lead the migration from satellite and cable networks to fibre networks. As ISPs and telecom companies outsource these jobs to contractors the main concern that regulators and the end users have is whether the jobs are done to the best standards in the industry. Our trainings mostly target these organizations and address: standards in fibre optic systems, safety and documentation.

As the saying goes, nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards. Fibre optic systems have standards that govern optical cable characteristics, installation and measurement methods. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) are the main groups that have set international standards that govern the fibre industry. These standards guide the various manufacturers to be able to develop components that function compatibly in fibre optic systems. There are other national standards which are defined to better adjust to the local requirements. The standards dictate that all fibre-optic cables should be installed in accordance with their listings and manufacturers' instructions. The standards also give guidelines on cable support, cable laying and commissioning techniques.

All our trainings consider the risks and safety precautions associated with any practice and fibre optics in no exception. We accentuate on the dangers associated with optical fibre systems with heavy emphasis on the risk of retina damage to fibre technicians and the hazards posed by broken pieces of fibre. Technicians are required to observe various safety standards while on site to safe guard their own safety as well as that of the general public.

Unlike electrical installations where only testing is done, optical data networks require testing and later documentation of accurate test results. We take a people-approach where we try and cultivate an approach of shifting ones mind-set to appreciate the importance of taking time and effort to properly document test results as per industry best practice standards.

Industry best standard thus can only be achieved if all stakeholders: manufacturers, contractors, ISPs, telecom operators, regulatory bodies, training service providers and governing bodies work together to ensure sustainable use of fibre technology. We at Viscar seek to empower and build the capacity of various professionals working in various capacities with fibre technology to uphold industry best practice standards. Register with us today and take part in the hands-on training that we offer in optical fibre.

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