NAPs (Network Access Points) and Peering Points
(NAP is also called IXP (Internet eXchange Point))

NAP (Network Access Point) is the original term for the data communications facilities built to provide on-ramp access to higher-speed Internet links (which are typically transcontinental or intercontinental in extent). Now known as Internet Exchange Points, but many still use the term, NAP.

IXP (Internet Exchange Point) is the new term for a NAP, but as with any new term it is ignored by many, who prefer to use the old term.  An IXP is a physical infrastructure that allows different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to exchange Internet traffic between their autonomous systems by means of mutual peering agreements. IXPs are typically used by ISPs to reduce dependency on their respective upstream providers; furthermore, they are used to increase efficiency and fault-tolerance.

IXP's were originally called NAP's because the early Internet was centered on a clearly defined higher-speed Internet backbone The Internet backbone was the central network that linked all the parts of the Internet together. The term is now used as a loose term to describe the "core" of the current Internet.

The five U.S. NAP's (IXP's)

  1. Sprint NAP - Pennsauken, NJ

  2. Ameritech NAP - Chicago, IL

  3. MAE East - Washington, DC  (MAE = Metropolitan Area Exchange)

  4. MAE West - San Jose, CA  (MAE = Metropolitan Area Exchange)

  5. Pacific Bell NAP - SanFrancisco, CA


International IXPs


Africa is the world's second-largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. At c. 30,244,050 km2 (11,677,240 mi2) including the islands, it covers 20.3% of the total land area on Earth, and with over 800 million human inhabitants it accounts for around one seventh of Earth's human population.

The ancient Romans used the name Africa terra — "land of the Afri" (plural, or "Afer" singular) — for the northern part of the continent, corresponding to modern-day Tunisia. The origin of Afer may be the Phoenician `afar, dust; the Afridi tribe, who dwelt in Northern Africa around the area of Carthage; Greek aphrike, without cold; or Latin aprica, sunny.
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Asia Alternative meanings: Asia (mythology), Asia Minor.

1. The continent of Asia is defined by subtracting Europe and Africa from the great land mass of Africa-Eurasia. The boundaries are vague, especially between Asia and Europe: Asia and Africa meet somewhere near the Suez Canal. The boundary between Asia and Europe runs via the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, the Hellespont, the Black Sea, the ridges of the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, the Ural River and the Ural Mountains to Novaya Zemlya. See also Eurasia.
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Most major European IXPs are organized in the European Internet Exchange Association (Euro-IX).


Middle East