In the average consensus a set of linear systems has to be driven to the same final state, which corresponds to the average of their initial states. This mathematical problem can be seen as the simplest example of coordination task. In fact it can be used to model both the control of multiple autonomous vehicles which all have to be driven to the centroid of the initial positions, and to model the decentralized estimation of a quantity from multiple measure coming from distributed sensors. This contribution presents a consensus strategy in which the systems can exchange information among themselves according to a fixed strongly connected digital communication network. Beside the decentralized computational aspects induced by the choice of the communication network, we here have also to face the quantization effects due to the digital links. We here present and discuss two different encoding/decoding strategies with theoretical and simulation results on their performance. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.