Fiber Broadband Association brings fiber broadband education to rural North Carolina communities

(UI) – The Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) announced that College of The Albemarle is the latest education institution to offer FBA’s Optical Telecom Installer Certification (OpTIC Path) program. Partnering with broadband internet provider Fybe, the two organizations will leverage the OpTIC Path course to produce a pipeline of expertly-trained fiber broadband technicians that will connect rural, eastern N.C. communities to high-quality fiber broadband networks.

Like in many areas of the country, the need for fiber infrastructure in eastern N.C. continues to increase. Fybe recognized that the availability of qualified fiber technicians would be critical in its ability to successfully deploy and maintain reliable, high-speed fiber networks. It noticed other N.C. communities offered FBA’s OpTIC Path program and gained a pipeline of talented fiber technicians, so Fybe partnered with College of The Albemarle to adopt the course, foster local talent, and create a strong program that will provide long-standing value to the communities they serve.

“The benefits of the OpTIC Path program are two-fold. For graduates, the program provides training for a lucrative, long-term career that will remain in high demand for decades to come. For the communities, the broadband infrastructure that OpTIC Path technicians build connects residents and businesses to new opportunities and advanced capabilities for education, health care, employment, and more,” said Deborah Kish, Vice President of Research and Workforce Development at the Fiber Broadband Association.

College of The Albemarle will launch the OpTIC Path program in February 2024. FBA is currently engaged with 40 states to roll out the OpTIC Path program, with 44 service providers and 70 community colleges and training institutions. Electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, and Oklahoma have either adopted or are interested in the program.

“The OpTIC Path program will deliver robust technical training and create a healthy pipeline of highly qualified fiber technicians for a high-demand, lucrative, long-term career,” said Bo Coughlin, Chief Operations Officer at Fybe.

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