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This paper examines the use of BCH error-correcting codes in improving the performance of a stop-and-wait automatic repeat-request (ARQ) scheme over random error and Rayleigh fading channels. Two models are analyzed. The first model considers the effect of forward error correction on the mean wasted time per message. The second model assumes a Poisson arrival process for the messages and examines the effect of forward error correction on the mean time between the arrival of a message and its successful transmission. In both models, our results indicate that the performance of the ARQ scheme can be substantially improved by the use of forward error correction.