Federal Internet Exchange

What Does Federal Internet Exchange Mean?

A Federal Internet exchange (FIX) refers to two physical locations in the United States that serve as a policy-based peering connection points between U.S. federal government agency networks, such as those used by NASA, the the Department of Energy and the military. There are two FIX points, one on each coast of the United States:

  • FIX East (FIX-E) in College Park, Maryland, at the University of Maryland
  • FIX West (FIX-W) in Mountain View, California, at the NASA Ames Research Center

Techopedia Explains Federal Internet Exchange

FIX-E and FIX-W are two U.S. based Internet exchanges established in June 1989 by the Federal Engineering Planning Group. U.S. federal agency networks, such as the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), NASA Science Network (NSN), Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Military Network (MILNET) are interconnected through these FIX points. The existence of these FIX points allowed the ARPANET – a predecessor to today’s Internet – to be phased out in the mid-1990s. They are among the hundreds of commercial and community-based Internet exchange points (IXP) established in the U.S. and around the world.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…