We have analytically and numerically evaluated the cross-phase modulation (XPM) induced crosstalk in the conventional single-mode fiber (SMF) network upgraded by using dispersion-compensating fiber (DCF). We assumed that DCFs are used as interstage components in dual-stage optical amplifiers. The result shows that, although XPM-induced intensity interference can be minimized by various dispersion deployment schemes, there exists an interference floor caused by XPM-seeded modulation instability (MI). Symmetrical dispersion compensation is the most promising scheme for upgrading the existing optical network, if the reduction of single-channel transmission penalty is considered together. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.