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A network access point (NAP) is a major point where internet service providers (ISPs) can connect with one another in peering arrangements. NAPs were central in the early days of the Internet when it was making the transition from a government-funded network to a commercial one.
Originally there were four network access points in the Uniteds States. The National Science Foundation put out contracts for the NAPs as part of a transition from the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet). The location of the four NAPs were Washington D.C., New Jersey, Chicago, and California. The modern day equivalent of a NAP is an internet exchange point (IXP).
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