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This article presents an optical label switching technology geared toward the next-generation Internet, and highlights its promising potential to accommodate packet, burst, and circuit traffic in a unified optical layer. In particular, we provide detailed discussions on an architecture design for a high capacity optical label switching router by considering enabling optical technologies. In pursuit of an effective contention resolution scheme, we investigate an end-to-end solution by incorporating a traffic shaping function at the network edge with wavelength, time, and space dimensions contention resolution in the core network. Experimental results indicate that this scheme is capable of achieving very low packet loss rates. Furthermore, due to its natural compatibility with GMPLS architecture, optical label switching has great potential for a seamless upgrade of today's optical networks toward the next generation Internet.