(Metropolitan Area Exchange) is a major public network access point (NAP) for interconnecting traffic between ISPs. The terms MAE and NAP are often used interchangeably. The term MAE is sometimes used to only identify the first NAPs set up by MFS Communications/MCI Worldcom: MAE-East (Washington D.C.), MAE-Central (Dallas, TX), MAE-West (San Jose, CA), as well as the two MAE FE - Frame Encapsulation (FE), Packet over SONET (POS) services in Chicago and NY. Basically, MAEs/NAPs are major interconnection points (and often the congestion points) that determine how/where traffic is routed in what is considered the Internet backbone. MaxDupAcks
A MAE (pronounced MAY), originally an abbreviation for Metropolitan Area Exchange and now a service mark of MCI WorldCom, is a major center in the United States for switch traffic between Internet service providers (Internet service provider).