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Larry Johnson started his career in fiber optics in 1977 which coincided with the first installation of fiber optics in the United States.
As Fiber Optic Specialist for Tektronix he worked on three generations of OTDRs and other test and measurement technologies and products. While writing fiber optic test procedures with the TIA/EIA, Larry saw a need for a vendor neutral fiber optic training company and founded The Light Brigade (TLB) in 1986 to fill this niche. During his time with TLB he wrote over 20 courses dealing with varying applications and technologies, while also developing industry certifications for designers, technicians and installers.
As a member of the Optical Society of America over the years Larry has coordinated the FTTx Center, the Test & Measurement, provided short courses and chaired panels at annual Optical Fiber Conferences. He has also delivered many short courses and webinars, written articles, co-written books on troubleshooting fiber optic systems and fiber optic safety while participating in several industry technology committees. In 2000 Larry was named by Fiber Optic Product News as a luminary of the industry for his role in education and training.
Technology Committee activities include the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) where in 2021 he was selected to develop the 144 hour Optical Telecommunications Course (OpTIC) designed to train technicians how to install, test and troubleshoot FTTx systems. With the Utility Telecom Conference (UTC) work has included white papers on OPGW, ADSS and underground cable types and installations. He has also created courses for service providers and fiber optic manufacturers.
Larry's expertise in system design, test and measurement, and fiber optic standards has allowed him to travel internationally providing speaking roles at industry conferences and researching how fiber optics is used internationally.
One of Larry's passions is archiving historical content about fiber optic technology - the inventors, those who implemented fiber optics and the challenges of each. In 2008 he founded FiberStory to provide expertise for end users, manufacturers and organizations. Since selling The Light Brigade in 2018 he continues living and sharing his passion for this amazing technology.
I had the honor of interviewing (and filming) Dr. Charles Kao who would later win the Nobel Prize for physics in 2009. The one hour interview sold by the IEEE, reviews Dr. Kao's background and how he came to writing this outstanding paper which would win him his Nobel prize and his Knighthood.
Over the years I have interviewed many of the fiber industries luminaries and look forward to issuing periodic segments on various technologies and products.
Your story is also important and I look forward to hearing from you.
One of my visits to India where I gave a keynote speech and also attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new fiber optics educational program being launched.
During this visit I was able to meet with service providers, assist in establishing a training program for basic fiber optics through FTTx. I was also fortunate to visit several of India's manufacturers and was impressed by the countries focus on innovation and quality.