Data centres are a key asset for cloud-based companies but also represent a major area of investment and operational cost. Companies such as Google and Amazon therefore need to think carefully when selecting where in the world to locate a new data centre.
While some geographic locations have inherent attractions, for example where colder weather lowers the heating costs for data centres, other factors can be equally or more important, notably the economic and political stability of a country or region. At the same time, governments around the world are increasingly interested to attract data centre business, since new investment by online companies can have a significant impact in terms of economic growth, new jobs, and technology innovation.
Several countries in the Americas have (or are considering) specific policies and incentives to attract data centres. For example, Québec has adopted attractive fiscal incentives, combined with aid programmes and other inducements, which reduce the overall cost of establishing and operating data centres. Many US states have also established tax incentives for data centres, reportedly amounting to US$ 1.5bn over the period 2006 to 2015. In addition, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile have announced or proposed new policies aiming to facilitate investment in data centres.
Cullen International’s new benchmark presents the policies and incentives of countries in the Americas that target the establishment and operation of data centres.
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