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The growing demand for improved quality of service increases the importance of network automation, namely the investment in remote-controlled switch (RCS) devices. These allow improving the fault isolation and reconfiguration time and therefore increasing the system quality of service. The investment in switch devices comes at a cost and thus must be optimized. The problem of determining the optimal number of devices and their optimal location is a difficult problem: the solution space is combinatorial and the objective function is nonanalytical. We propose to address this problem in a two-stage decomposition approach. Results are presented to i) divide the solution space into independent subspaces, and then ii) solve the optimization problems in each subspace. The solution approach is illustrated for a real distribution network problem.