The need to enhance the digital transmission capability of the local loop network to provide for new services is widely recognized in the telecommunications industry. Companies around the world - have been working towards this goal and plan to use digital loop carrier (DLC) to meet this demand. Although this approach is generally accepted, there has been little information presented on how to plan for the evolution of the local plant. To address these pressing issues, the Bell System is introducing a concept called fundamental subscriber carrier planning (FSCP). This paper discusses the impact that digital services will have on the subscriber loop network, including loop plant design requirements necessary to position the network for up to 64 kbit/s digital services. Existing cable plant has the capability to support most digital services, but there are specific design requirements that are quite different from those required for the "typical" analog voiceband service. This paper reviews the need to position the loop for digital services, and substantiates the major conclusion that digital loop carrier technology offers a significant advantage when provisioning for digital services.