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Contxto – At last, Google has found a new home in Latin America for its second data center. With 14 scattered across the globe, the newest establishment will be located in Uruguay. Storage and server management will reportedly take priority.
Over two years in the making, this concept gained momentum when the former Industry Minister Carolina Cosse visited Google’s headquarters. While she suggested a data center at this time, blueprints allegedly date back to 2012.
As the construction date and costs are still unknown, reports say that the center will be located in Canelones, according to the newspaper El Observador. Permitted on October 11, the facility will be constructed on a 20-hectare site in a duty-free tax zone known as the Science Park.
Also in 2017, Google collaborated with the state-owned telecommunication company Antel to install the Tannat submarine fiber optic cable from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Fortaleza, Brazil. From Fortaleza, it goes to Boca Raton, Florida in the United States.
In line with reports from MercuPress, this infrastructure reportedly incentivized Google to debut a data center in Uruguay.
Prior to this, Antel also collaborated with Nokia to install Latin America’s first 5G network in Uruguay.
Project in the making
Believe it or not, but Google has been considering installing an Uruguayan center since 2013. Due to reportedly having a shortage of skilled workers back then, though, the U.S. firm chose Chile over Uruguay.
During this time, the head of the ORT University in Montevideo, Jorge Grünberg met with a Google official to allure him to the country.
“At a certain point, the executive asked me how many Ph.D. graduates in Computing and Mathematics there are in Uruguay,” said Grünberg. “I had to tell him, ‘they could be counted on your fingers.’ He said, ‘With those numbers it is impossible! Forget it.’”
Fortunately, Uruguay’s tech scene has greatly evolved since then. Today, it’s the largest exporter of software per capita in Latin America. Now, Uruguay also joins Chile as the only two Latin American countries with Google data centers. Six are in the United States, three in Asia, as well as three in Europe.