An interface for converting a variety of incoming digital signals into SDH/SONET format for transmission on a synchronous digital network, by identifying the line code of the incoming digital signal, without identifying the information for OSI layer 2 or 3 processing, i.e. format of each packet. Headers are used to encapsulate incoming packets, and enable packets to be discriminated at the receiver. Advantages of performance monitoring capability and transparency are combined. Identifying line codes enables a greater degree of error detection, than a bit based interface. Also synchronisation can be simpler since line codes for padding can be added or deleted more easily than adding or subtracting bits. The interface is semi-transparent in the sense that identification of line codes limits the interface to those formats that use identifiable line codes, but without limiting to a particular OSI layer 2 or 3 frame format.