Participation Benefits

MAX participation includes many benefits far beyond what can be provided by a common Internet Service Provider (ISP), including:

Building Community

  • Highly reliable, regional R&E network aggregation point delivering high-speed commodity and research Internet connectivity among K-20 schools, colleges, and federal agencies in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia; (extended reach to other RONs and states)
  • No additional costs to communicate with the region’s educational institutions, federal agencies, and research laboratories connected to MAX and with hundreds of national and international educational institutions who participate with Internet2 and other organizations with whom MAX has a network peering relationship.
  • Cost effective, high capacity, state-of-the-art network connectivity for academia, government agencies, laboratories, not-for-profit, and commercial research organizations.
  • Many research funding opportunities, such as those offered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) require access to advanced high-speed networks like MAX.
  • Local peering with commodity ISPs to improve network efficiency by keeping network traffic local, reducing hops and latency, and enhancing throughput performance.
  • Significant savings through aggregated group purchases of commercial products and services including ISP, equipment, maintenance, fiber, lambdas, and VoIP.
  • Consolidate regional representation of our interests to the larger national and international community.

Networking Services

  • A “first stop” point to provide cost effective access to national commodity Internet Service Providers (ISPs), national R&E backbones, service mechanisms that ensure alternate data paths, data paths with especially high quality end-to-end performance for specific advanced applications, and links to partner networks.
  • Connectivity to regional, national & international research networks
  • A multiple protected “ring” architecture-designed backbone to allow network traffic to travel on one of two paths to achieve the highest levels of reliability.
  • The ability to provision diverse redundant connections from a campus to an alternate MAX PoP site.
  • Capable of supporting 40 individual 10G waves with a more reliable and flexible network infrastructure that can grow and incorporate technological advancements and individual wave bandwidth increases to 100Gb/s.
  • Native IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity to the national research backbones as well as the commodity Internet.
  • Multicast and H.323 support.
  • Network services that span dedicated Layer 1 optical waves, Layer 2 vLAN and MPLS, as well as Layer 3 aggregated routed IP service.
  • National and global collaboration with other researchers and educators via highly reliable, non-congested Internet services through an optical backbone infrastructure resulting in the lowest latency network services to other major research and education institutions.


  • Encourage collaboration, sharing of intellectual capital, and material resources among participating research, federal agency, and educational institutions on computational, application, and networking issues.
  • Forums and association for collaboration with advanced communication modalities among participants, academics, and researchers throughout the U.S. and other nations.

Operational Support

  • A Network Operations Center (NOC) that monitors and responds to events and requests from our participants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Increased opportunities to participate in leading edge research initiatives and sponsored grant activities with national and international partners and collaborators.
  • A variety of network consulting services to participants. For questions about fiber design and consulting, please contact us at