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We experimentally demonstrate that an electronic dispersion compensator (EDC) can substantially improve the performance of a metropolitan area network. In our experimental testbed, the optical path varies in length from 20 to 80 km. Using an EDC increased the network's tolerance of transmitter impairments, and removed the need for other dispersion compensation. Unlike previous demonstrations of electronic equalization, which employed LiNbO/sub 3/ Mach-Zehnder modulators, we also used electroabsorption modulators (EAMs). Electroabsorption modulation is desirable in cost-sensitive applications, as EAMs are less expensive than LiNbO/sub 3/ modulators, and integration with the laser can lower the cost further. Unfortunately, the chirp in an EAM can be higher than that of a LiNbO/sub 3/ modulator, which decreases the link's tolerance to chromatic dispersion. We demonstrated that electronic signal processing can mitigate this, enabling the use of these less expensive modulators.