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Why Not Detroit?

I was having coffee with a friend and we started talking about data farms and the rise of cloud computing. Frankly, we were as smart and innovative as anyone else has been so I won’t blog about that.

One thing that sprang to mind, though, was where data centers are often placed; remote locations that require local utilities to invest in additional infrastructure (because of the remoteness of the site as well as the special power needs that data centers require).

This cost is then passed on to data center who then indirectly passes that on to local ratepayers since the local community or county body will provide tax breaks and incentives to attract the data center in the first place (think, until recently, of Quincy WA and their relationship with MSFT).

So, if there is a value in having data centers in a community (let’s assume something to do with jobs) and there is a need for infrastructure investment, then why not place data centers in urban communities where there is existing infrastructure and probably plenty of cheap real estate?

Picking Detroit as an example of a community that is in desperate need of help, we know it has plenty of unused space, an existing infrastructure, and a community of people who would benefit from that type of investment. Furthermore, this kind of initiative can be the rallying post for further technology investment and subsequent job growth; all things necessary to building a better community.

So, why not Detroit?

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