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A scalable and reliable architecture for both a wavelength division multiplexing passive optical network and a hybrid wavelength and time division multiplexing passive optical network with self-healing capability is presented and evaluated. Our protection scheme is compatible with a cascaded arrayed waveguide grating that can accommodate an ultra-large number of end users. A simple interconnection pattern between two adjacent optical network units (ONUs) is applied in order to provide protection for distributed fibers between a remote node and the ONUs. Therefore, the investment cost on a per-user basis can be significantly reduced. Meanwhile, the performance evaluation shows that our approach can achieve high connection availability while maintaining the support of long reach and high splitting ratio.