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This paper presents the work carried out by the Optical Communications Group at Politecnico di Torino in the framework of the RINGO project. The RINGO network is based on a WDM optical ring, with an input queuing access protocol and multicast capabilities. We start by presenting the RINGO architecture, protocol, and the experimental demonstration. Then, we compare our solution with both the "traditional" solutions (i.e. SONET/SDH rings) and with today's complex "truly all-optical" packet switched proposals.