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We present features of next generation SONET, focusing particularly on path management. Factors such as QoS metrics and path protection are keys to realize automatic and dynamic path management. Two algorithms (the sequential algorithm and the parallel algorithm) to provide QoS and protection path in SONET are proposed and discussed in detail. They balance the network load by circumventing heavily loaded links, and reduce the network resource consumption by selecting the shortest paths. Simulation results demonstrate that they are practical solutions for path management of next generation SONET.