The authors describe a generic digital interface for local access that is being implemented by the leading switch vendors in North America in their local switches. With the availability of this interface for local switches, remote terminal vendors will be able to connect their products that are also built according to the interface requirements to create a multivendor integrated digital loop carrier (IDLC) system. After presenting the key features of the interface, operations interfaces needed to support an IDLC system are outlined. Some possible implementations of the interface in remote digital terminals are discussed. This is followed by a review of the application synergy of the two kinds (DSI and SONET) of IDLC systems. Also covered are some applications of this interface as a platform to support new services and architectures, such as the integrated services digital network, fiber in the loop, etc.