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This paper describes sleep and adaptive link rate (ALR) control functions to reduce the power consumption of optical network units (ONUs) in 10 Gb/s Ethernet passive optical network (10G-EPON) systems. A hybrid mechanism that includes both sleep and ALR control functions is proposed with a view to further improving the power-saving performance. The sleep control function switches the ONU mode, i.e., active or sleep, depending on the presence or absence of traffic. The ALR control function switches the downlink rates between an optical line terminal (OLT) and an ONU, i.e., 1 Gb/s or 10 Gb/s, depending on the quantity of traffic. The proposed hybrid mechanism offers effective power management of ONUs on the basis of the traffic conditions. The proposed hybrid mechanism is validated by a numerical simulation and an experiment.