The last few years have seen a significant growth in Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) deployments in telecommunication service providers. With growth of data traffic, network operators seek network-engineering tools to extract the maximum benefits out of the existing infrastructure. This has suggested a number of new optimization problems, most of them in the field of combinatorial optimization. We address here the Ring Loading Problem (RLP) - given a set of nodes connected along a bi-directional SONET ring, the objective is to minimize the maximum load on the edges (pair wise) of a ring. Our procedure includes some original features, including the application of Iterated Local Search and new methods of crossover and mutation when Genetic Algorithms are used.