Two major academic regional optical networks, the Mid-Atlantic Terascale Partnership (MATP) and the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), have joined forces to maximize research and education network infrastructure for their academic and research members and participants.

Both networks were formed by university collaborations that included Virginia Tech, which operates the MATP programs. The University of Maryland operates the MAX programs. The agreement expands collaboration and connectivity among universities and labs in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. region and expands the region's access to the National LambdaRail (NLR) and Internet2 networks.

MAX participants now have direct access to NLR's full spectrum of WaveNet, FrameNet, and PacketNet service offerings. This expansion adds more than 40 of the nation's leading research universities, federal labs, government agencies, and corporate research partners to the hundreds of institutions nationwide and around the globe already connected to National LambdaRail. The agreement also provides for continued aggregation of MATP and MAX members to reach the Internet2 network through the MAX Internet2 connector.

"The value of our network investments increases proportionately with the number of people and resources connected. This new agreement successfully leverages those investments for our members," said MATP chairman James Hilton, who is vice president and chief information officer at the University of Virginia. "With this open approach, we are expanding participation on all fronts and improving cost distribution – a must for research and academic institutions seeking to serve student and faculty member needs."

"The MAX consortium and participants see this agreement as an opportunity to expand the regional collaboration and service offerings for our science and engineering community," said Jeff Huskamp, vice president and chief information officer at the University of Maryland. "Having the ability to provision dedicated waves and VLAN connections for specialized research projects with colleagues across the country improves our region's academic and laboratory researchers' ability to address the computational and data intensive challenges that lie at the heart of our nation's capacity for increased innovation and scientific understanding."

The Mid-Atlantic Terascale Partnership is a consortium extending NLR membership privileges to research institutions in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Members of MATP have contributed significantly toward creating and sustaining regional and national research network infrastructure including NLR. MATP was co-founded in 2003 by the College of William and Mary, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech. Through MATP's VORTEX (Virginia Optical Research Technology Exchange) and through the affiliated NetworkVirginia program, MATP provides access to research and education networks for more than one million scientists, educators, and students in the mid-Atlantic region. MATP network programs and NetworkVirginia are operated by Virginia Tech.

The Mid-Atlantic Crossroads is a regional optical network consortium founded by Georgetown University, George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and Virginia Tech. The MAX mission is to serve the long-term strategic planning, deployment, operation, and coordination for high performance advanced internetworking services and initiatives in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. MAX serves the research and education community as well as collaborating organizations from the public sector, private/commercial sector, not-for-profits, and state and federal agencies that require access to leading edge telecommunications technologies.

For more information, contact Phyllis Dickerson Johnson, University of Maryland.


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