A Dutch company, hoping to lure some sexy American startups, is building a carrier-neutral, multi-tenant data center park in Virginia Beach.
This is NxtVn’s first venture outside of Finland and Eemshaven, Netherlands, and could potentially become one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast with some 1.4 million square feet of buildings.
With an estimated price tag of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, one of the biggest draws to the data center park will be the availability of high-capacity connections from the US to Europe. NxtVn plans to invest in a third transatlantic high-speed data cable—Midgardsormen—that would link Virginia Beach to its Eemshaven data center park.
NxtVn’s initial goal was to show the world that its operations in Finland and the Netherlands could be successful and then build a cluster of parks connected via fiber around the world and eventually offer an IPO, according to the company, which was founded in 1994.
Considered a network gateway to Europe, about one-third of all European data centers -- along with American internet behemoths --are located in the Amsterdam area situated near AMS-IX, the world’s largest internet exchange. Plus, 11 of 15 transatlantic sea cables that link Europe to North America are accessible in the Netherlands.
Once complete, Virginia Beach will be a landing point on the mid-Atlantic coast for transoceanic cables. The project’s first phase could start by the end of 2017.
Just prior to the Virginia Beach announcement, NxtVn signed an agreement with Egypt to establish a cluster of giant data centers in Borg El-Arab Technology Park, in Alexandria, on a 65,000-square foot area.
Last year, Spanish telecom giant Telefónica announced plans to connect Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Brazil, to Virginia Beach with the BRUSA via underwater cable. Microsoft and Facebook followed suit, saying that they would team up to build MAREA, a new 4,000-mile-long cable that would run under the Atlantic Ocean and connect Bilbao, Spain, to the mid-Atlantic city.