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This paper presents a new method of calculating the availability of path protected optical network through a heuristic approach. The algorithm for finding and calculating the availability of working and protection paths according to the criterion of highest availability includes parameters called weighting factors. Weighting factors are defined and classified based on the analysis of cable failures at the physical layer of a real optical network. The results of calculating the availability via the proposed method and standard method for the same segment of the referent optical network were compared and analyzed.