To meet the ever-increasing bandwidth requirements, the rapid growth in highly dynamic traffic patterns, and the increasing complexity in network operation, whilst providing high power consumption efficiency and cost-effectiveness, the approach of combining traditional optical access networks, metropolitan area networks and 4-th generation (4G)/5-th generation (5G) mobile front-haul/back-haul networks into unified cloud access networks (CANs) is one of the most preferred “future-proof” technical strategies. The aim of this dissertation research is to extensively explore, both numerically and experimentally, the technical feasibility of utilising digital signal processing (DSP) to achieve key fundamental elements of CANs from device level to network architecture level including: i) software reconfigurable optical transceivers, ii) DSP-enabled reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs), iii) network operation characteristics-transparent digital filter multiple access (DFMA) techniques, and iv) DFMA-based passive optical network (PON) with DSP-enabled software reconfigurability. As reconfigurable optical transceivers constitute fundamental building blocks of the CAN’s physical layer, digital orthogonal filtering-based novel software reconfigurable transceivers are proposed and experimentally and numerically explored, for the first time. By making use of Hilbert-pair-based 32-tap digital orthogonal filters implemented in field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), a 2GS/s@8-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC)/analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), and an electro-absorption modulated laser (EML) intensity modulator (IM), world-first reconfigurable real-time transceivers are successfully experimentally demonstrated in a 25km IMDD SSMF system. The transceiver dynamically multiplexes two orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (OFDM) channels with a total capacity of 3.44Gb/s. Experimental results also indicate that the transceiver performance is fully transparent to various subcarrier modulation formats of up to 64-QAM, and that the maximum achievable transceiver performance is mainly limited by the cross-talk effect between two spectrally-overlapped orthogonal channels, which can, however, be minimised by adaptive modulation of the OFDM signals. For further transceiver optimisations, the impacts of major transceiver design parameters including digital filter tap number and subcarrier modulation format on the transmission performance are also numerically explored. II Reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs) are also vital networking devices for application in CANs as they play a critical role in offering fast and flexible network reconfiguration. A new optical-electrical-optical (O-E-O) conversion-free, software-switched flexible ROADM is extensively explored, which is capable of providing dynamic add/drop operations at wavelength, sub-wavelength and orthogonal sub-band levels in software defined networks incorporating the reconfigurable transceivers. Firstly, the basic add and drop operations of the proposed ROADMs are theoretically explored and the ROADM designs are optimised. To crucially validate the practical feasibility of the ROADMs, ROADMs are experimentally demonstrated, for the first time. Experimental results show that the add and drop operation performances are independent of the sub-band signal spectral location and add/drop power penalties are <2dB. In addition, the ROADMs are also robust against a differential optical power dynamic range of >2dB and a drop RF signal power range of 7.1dB. In addition to exploring key optical networking devices for CANs, the first ever DFMA PON experimental demonstrations are also conducted, by using two real-time, reconfigurable, OOFDM-modulated optical network units (ONUs) operating on spectrally overlapped multi-Gb/s orthogonal channels, and an offline optical line terminal (OLT). For multipoint-to-point upstream signal transmission over 26km SSMF in an IMDD DFMA PON, experiments show that each ONU achieves a similar upstream BER performance, excellent robustness to inter-ONU sample timing offset (STO) and a large ONU launch power variation range. Given the importance of IMDD DFMA-PON channel frequency response roll-off, both theoretical and experimental explorations are undertaken to investigate the impact of channel frequency response roll-off on the upstream transmission of the DFMA PON system Such work provides valuable insights into channel roll-off-induced performance dependencies to facilitate cost-effective practical network/transceiver/component designs.