A broadband network, such as a cable television system, includes a synchronous code generator that converts an analog signal into a digital signal and inserts a synchronous code in the digital signal. The synchronous code generator is in communication with an optical link, which transmits the digital signal. An optical performance monitor receives the digital signal from the optical link and determines performance of the optical link based on errors in the synchronous code. The optical link performance monitor includes an error detector, which detects errors in the synchronous code, and, in response thereto, signals a counter of the error. The counter accumulates the errors detected by the error detector for a period of time. A processor, which is in communication with the counter, determines the optical performance of the optical link based upon the number of errors accumulated by the counter. A user interface displays the results of the processor.