A method and system for handling transport overhead on a ring network. The system includes a ring network having a plurality of network elements communicating a signal along the network. In one embodiment, a method is provided for restoring transport overhead along the ring network. This method includes designating a first of the plurality of network elements as a master network element and inserting a first transport overhead break on the ring network by the master network element. The method further includes detecting a failure of the signal by a second network element and inserting a second transport overhead break on the ring network by the second network element in response to the detection of a failure. Finally, the method includes removing the second transport overhead break under the direction of said master network element. Another method of restoring transport overhead is disclosed which also includes the steps of designating a first of the plurality of network elements as a master network element and detecting a failure of the signal by a second network element. In addition, the method includes the step of transmitting a count to the master network element by the second network element in response to the step of detecting a failure. In addition, the count is incremented each time it passes through a network element other than the first and second network elements. Finally, the count is received by the master network element.
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