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Baud was the prevalent measure for data transmission speed until replaced by a more accurate term, bps (bits per second). One baud is one electronic state change per second. Since a single state change can involve more than a single bit of data, the bps unit of measurement has replaced it as a better expression of data transmission speed.
The measure was named after a French engineer, Jean-Maurice-Emile Baudot. It was first used to measure the speed of telegraph transmissions.