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Resilience is becoming a key design issue for future packet networks. The IEEE 802.17 resilient packet ring protocol has been developed. to provide the necessary cost and bandwidth efficient restoration mechanisms for traffic aggregation networks in the metropolitan area. In this paper we describe our network processor based implementation for RPR together with a bandwidth-efficient protection steering mechanism we selected. Measurement results from system integration test and a field trial prove excellent reconfiguration times well within 50 milliseconds for this solution based on reconfigurable hardware.