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Using the retarded plate model, we derive the correlations and the mean-square values of all orders of polarization mode dispersion (PMD) as well as the autocorrelation function of the PMD vector. Our results provide the signal bandwidth below which the first-order approximation of the principal states of polarization is valid. We show that this bandwidth depends only on the mean value of the differential group delay. Our theoretical results are supported by simulations and experiments.