return channel

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In a duplex transmission channel, it is sometimes the case that the main channel operates only in one direction (i.e. simplex), but that a channel of much lower capacity (and much lower cost) operates in the opposite direction: this is the return channel. It is chiefly used for monitoring the main channel, and for notifying the transmitter of errors detected by the receiver on the main channel. See also backward error correction.

Subjects: Computing.

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