Method of using existing SONET transport overhead bytes (202) to provide additional bandwidth for increased management traffic, without the need to make use of SONET payload capacity (204). Overhead bytes that are undefined by the SONET Telecommunication Standard for certain STS-1 frames (200) of an STS-n frame (500) are used to form data channels. Using the undefined bytes, data can be communicated between a plurality of nodes (402, 404, 406) in the network.
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