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As Ethernet traffic increases rapidly in carrier networks, service providers have an increasing need for Ethernet infrastructure networking in order to scale their Ethernet services. Ethernet infrastructure transports Ethernet traffic over distance, protects the traffic from link and nodal failures, and aggregates Ethernet connections from a large number of low-speed ports onto a much smaller number of high-speed ports. An Ethernet infrastructure allows service providers to inexpensively interconnect end user locations with one another for private line services, and to interconnect end users with the VPLS and IP/MPLS service edges for enterprise, residential, and mobility services. OAM and protection capabilities are critical to enable Ethernet to be deployed as an infrastructure technology. This article reviews several important developments in Ethernet OAM and protection standards, and discusses how those capabilities are vital for the creation of an effective Ethernet infrastructure.