On metallic transmission links, such as coaxial cable and wire-pair cable, line characteristics distort and attenuate the digital signal as it traverses the medium. There are three cable characteristics that create this distortion: (1) loss, (2) amplitude distortion (amplitude-frequency response), and (3) delay distortion. Thus the regenerative repeater must provide amplification and equalization of the incoming digital signal before regeneration. There are also tradeoffs between loss and distortion on the one hand and repeater characteristics and repeater section length on the other.

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