A fiber optic backbone system fed by AML is a cable system architecture that provides both performance and cost advantages. Although both AML and a fiber backbone have been separately proposed as means of improving the overall cable system carrier-to-noise ratio, the attributes of AML and AM-fiber are in this case complimentary rather than competitive. By combining the two technologies, one can overcome the drawbacks of each. Line-of-sight and zoning restrictions sometimes limit the location of AML receive sites. Shot and thermal noise sharply limit the carrier-to-noise ratios achievable with multiple-carrier AM fiber on long paths. When the latest AML technology is used to reduce the average length of the fiber backbone, the overall system C/N can be improved. At the same time, the savings in the cost ofthe glass can more than offset the cost of the microwave. This paper reviews AM fiber and recent AML system performance. Examples of integrated AML/fiber backbone architecture are analyzed for both cost and performance. It is shown that an overall C/N in large cable systems of 50 dB or better at the last subscriber terminal can be obtained with today's technology.