New enabling technologies are needed for optical communication systems to accommodate rapidly growing traffic demands. Wavelength conversion and high-speed optical packet switching/routing will be key technology components for realizing more flexible and efficient optical networks. Lasers capable of wide-band, high-speed wavelength tuning will be essential to support these advanced functions. Also, many applications will require high launch powers in order to access an increasing number of users, nodes, or base stations. Hence, laser transmitters capable of suppressing stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) would be highly desirable. We have developed an ultrafast, broadband tunable laser, based on an electroabsorption modulator laser (EML), which exhibits wavelength switching speeds as fast as 56 ps. Here, we report system performance results on wavelength conversion high-speed optical packet switching, and SBS suppression using this device. We have tested multiple wavelength conversion sequences and demonstrated penalty-free transmission through two cascaded wavelength conversion stages including 200 km of standard non-DS fiber. When used to perform packet switching at 2.5 Gb/s, the tunable laser allows switching between optical packets on 4 wavelength channels in less than 1 bit period, thereby requiring no significant guardband. The modulated data packets have been transmitted through 200 km of non-DSF and yield open eye diagrams. The tunable laser has also been used to perform SBS suppression. We have measured SBS thresholds of approximately 25 dBm on 4 separate WDM channels. The required modulation signal is very small, 95 mVpp, and the residual AM is only approximately 1%.