A broadband intelligent network (50) an ATM switch or other fast-packet switch (51) in a fiber optic, fast-packet communication system. The ATM switch (51) is directly coupled (53) through one of its ports to a network service control point (61) for the implementation of requested services without the use of an intermediate common channel signaling system. ATM cells, identified as signaling cells, carry customer service requests and are automatically routed through the ATM switch to the network service control point (61). The service control point (61) determines the requested service and executes a corresponding programmed procedure (210). Connection service requested by a particular signaling cell is implemented by the service control point (61) sending a command cell through a port of the ATM switch (51) to instruct the switch connection management processor (64) to establish a switched virtual circuit for the requested connection.