Southern Crossroads (SoX)/Southern Light Rail (SLR) builds on a history extending back to one of the first National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research and Education networks – SURANet, which was created in the mid- to late-1980’s to connect university members to high performance computing centers in a cost effective way. SoX was initially formed as a project of The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) in 1997 to facilitate high bandwidth, low-latency connectivity for researchers affiliated with schools in the SURA region.

This access allowed for more sophisticated collaboration among research and education institutions within the southeastern region and throughout the United States and internationally. Through this continued collaborative effort, participating research and education communities have access to a rich and robust network infrastructure at a viable price point which further empowers participants to fulfill their respective missions.

Since its formation in 1997, SoX has moved out from under the umbrella of SURA to be a part of the Southern Light Rail (SLR) non-profit corporation.  SoX has cost effectively managed growth in participants and of services.  SLR/SoX is recognized as one of the largest Internet2 connectors, providing more than 200Gb/s of access to Internet2 and ESnet for the southeast region.

SLR/SoX is managed through a co-operative research contract with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at Georgia Tech. Through this contract, SoX provides engineering and financial support for the region’s top universities to connect to Internet2 and a host of peering opportunities located at the 56 Marietta co-location site in downtown Atlanta.

Building on this history, and to further the collaboration among research and education communities, SoX strives to provide additional value-added services to its participants. Through its membership in The Quilt consortium, SoX is able to provide extremely cost effective ISP services to its participants lowering total cost.