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This paper describes methods to reduce channel contention during distributed setup of high-speed connections in a mesh network of Cross-Connects (XCs) (R.D. Doverspike et al., 1999). A particular aspect of contention addressed here is when two different connection requests arrive on a pair of adjacent XCs and they choose the same restoration channels from spare inventory. Such a contention problem is often referred to as "glare". This paper gives channel selection methods that considerably reduce glare, while at the same time maintaining large groups of channels (for future high speed connections) across multiple, parallel links. We establish the benefit of our approach in a typical intercity backbone network. As shown in the simulation results, our channel selection mechanism can eliminate almost all the glare compared to the previously known algorithms, "Best-fit" and "Hi-Lo".