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We introduce a novel architecture incorporating broadband radio over optical fiber and cognitive radio technologies into a unified network platform named Cognitive Wireless Local Area Network over Fibers (CWLANoF). We first elaborate on the system architecture and more specifically on various topologies to integrate optical fibers and wireless devices in CWLANoF. The mixture of centralized processing capability as well as distributed sets of antennas in this system leads to a rich set of research issues that are presented in this article. Finally, we present a testbed architecture built on a software defined radio platform, along with its implementation and test plans.