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This paper proposes and demonstrates a reliable wide-area wavelength-division-multiplexing passive optical network (WDM-PON) with a wavelength-shifted protection scheme. This protection scheme utilizes the cyclic property of 2×N athermal arrayed-waveguide grating and two kinds of wavelength allocations, each of which is assigned for working and protection, respectively. Compared with conventional protection schemes, this scheme does not need a 3-dB optical coupler, thus leading to ensure the large loss budget that is suited for wide-area WDM-PONs. It also features a passive access node and does not have a protection function in the optical network unit (ONU). The feasibility of the proposed scheme is experimentally confirmed by the carrier-distributed WDM-PON with gigabit Ethernet interface (GbE-IF) and 10-GbE-IF, in which the ONU does not employ a light source, and all wavelengths for upstream signals are centralized and distributed from the central office.