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Because of the quadratic relation between optical power and optical field, the transmission of optical power through an optical fiber is, in principle, nonlinear. Under usual conditions, random fluctuations of the incoherent source field and mode mixing tend to linearize the system. Previous assessments of the effect of intersymbol interference (ISI) on the performance of digital fiber optical communication systems are based on the assumption of linearity. This paper examines the effect of ISI on error rates in the other limit of complete coherence where fields are additive but powers are not. It is found that in this nonlinear regime and for weak dispersion, ISI may reduce the error rates slightly, whereas strong dispersion augments it considerably.