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CORD is a 2.5-Gb/s//spl lambda/ wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) packet switched network experiment. We have experimentally demonstrated a pilot-tone transport for the high-speed data synchronization in CORD. The optical power penalty is minimized to about 1 dB by equalizing the frequency response of the payload data channel and optimizing the pilot-tone modulation depth. The main advantages of the pilot-tone transport are: 1) a simple transceiver structure; and 2) a fast clock recovery time (within 40 b, 16 ns).