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This paper describes the concept of the photonic multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network and prototypes of the photonic MPLS router (PhRter). The photonic MPLS scheme, an expansion of the MPLS scheme, uses photonic labels. The PhRter prototypes utilize wavelength as photonic labels. Optical label switched paths (OLSPs) are formed between ingress to egress PhRters. An OLSP bundles label switched paths (LSPs) belonging to the same forward equivalence classes, and offers cut-through in the optical domain. This cut-through by OLSPs can reduce the electrical forwarding fabric at the intermediate nodes. As a result, node throughput can be vastly expanded. This paper also describes the advances of the planar lightwave circuit optical switch, the key to realize the PhRter. Distributed autonomous control is realized through an OLSP setup/teardown protocol that uses an extended multiprotocol lambda switching (MPλS) signaling technique. The mechanisms of OLSP recovery from network failure, which require the cooperation of IP and photonic networks, are also implemented and their performances demonstrated.