Short for Metropolitan Area Ethernet, a Network Access Point (NAP) where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can connect with each other. The original MAE was set up by a company called MFS and is based in Washington, D.C. Later, MFS built another one in Silicon Valley, dubbed MAE-West. In addition to the MAEs from MFS, there are many other NAPs. Although MAE refers really only to the NAPs from MFS, the two terms are often used interchangeably.
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