Northern Crossroads


The Northern Crossroads (NoX) is an informal affiliation of over two dozen institutions with a common interest in facilitating advanced networking in New England. Participants include institutions of higher education and partner organizations that support research, education, and economic development. The goals of the NoX are to:

  • Foster advanced networking in support of research and education in New England;
  • Share intellectual capital and material resources to further the development and delivery of advanced network services and applications to our communities;
  • Aggregate services to benefit from economies of scale;
  • Encourage collaboration among participating institutions and our respective academic communities;
  • Consolidate regional representation of our interests to the larger national and international community, and;
  • Collaborate with other organizations pursuing advanced networking.

NoX participants meet regularly at Boston University to consider issues at hand and to hear from and talk with advanced network advocates, manufacturers, and service providers about their efforts, products, and services, as well as their commitment to advanced networking initiatives such as Internet2.

In October 1999, the NoX established a robust service platform to support the goals of its participants under a colocation arrangement with Qwest at their point-of-presence (PoP) in Boston at 230 Congress Street. Over the years, the NoX has expanded to 300 Bent Street in Cambridge under a colocation arrangement with Level 3 and to 1 Summer Street in Boston. These service points are interconnected by a vast array of optical fiber, offering virtually unlimited bandwidth to serve the growing needs of our community. The primary purpose of these facilities is to share the cost of a connection to the Internet2 network and to establish a high-performance regional exchange for participants & commodity Internet service providers.

The NoX distributed exchange consists of an array of high-performance routers and switches interconnected to each other, to subscribers, and to regional and national network service providers. When subscribers connect to this exchange, local traffic remains within the exchange, improving performance and reducing demand on more congested and costly backbone neworks.

NoX-AP participants connect to the AP in various ways, including dark fiber and metro and regional managed services. Through our ongoing partnership with NEREN, the NoX fosters the design, development, and distribution of regional optical networking throughout New England.

In 2000, the NoX joined forces with other R&E regional network service providers to form The Quilt, a forum where leaders throughout the regional networking community build on the intellectual capital and best practices of network service providers worldwide.

If you have an interest in the activities of the NoX or you wish to contact your institutional representative, please contact us.

Contributed by:
Michael Krugman
Information Services & Technology
Boston University


A consortium led by over 200 US research institutions and their partners to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies.

The Quilt
A dynamic forum where leaders from throughout the regional networking community build on the intellectual capital and best practices of network service providers worldwide.

The NorthEast Research and Education Network fosters the development of a regional optical network in New England.

The NoX
The Northern Crossroads facilitates advanced networking and collaboration among research institutions in New England.



Northern Crossroads