We propose and investigate a fibre-based quantum key distribution system, which employs polarization qubits encoded into faint laser pulses. As a novel feature, it allows sending of classical framing information via sequences of strong laser pulses that precede the quantum data. This allows synchronization, sender and receiver identification, and compensation of time-varying birefringence in the communication channel. Furthermore, this method also provides a platform to communicate implementation specific information such as encoding and protocol in view of future optical quantum networks. All optical components can be operated at Gbps rates, which is a first requirement for Mbps secret key rates.