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bit error rate (BER)

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Definition
Standard transmission-error rate of a media such as copper wire, coaxial cable, or fiber-optic cable. Used as a measure of transmission quality, it is the ratio of error-bits received to the total bits sent. BER is expressed usually as a negative power of ten: BER of fiber-optic cable, for example, is 10-10 or one wrong bit every ten billion (10,000,000,000) bits about one error in a week at normal transmission speeds.