Cork data centre will offer super-speedy US to Europe data times

Meanwhile, in Galway, Apple bit barn planning row goes nuclear

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An Irish property company is expected to secure planning permission for a 25,550 square meter facility on the outskirts of Cork City that will offer much reduced data latency times between the US and Europe.

JCD Group’s rapid movement with plans for the centre on the site of a disused electronics factory in the city is in stark contrast to the quagmire engulfing Apple’s plans for a site in Galway which has drawn fire from the local populations of humans, badgers and bats.

The €200m development led by property group JCD Group centres on the 32 acre former Mitsui Denman plant on Little Island. As well as the expected construction jobs, the plant should deliver about 150 jobs.

Crucially, the development will have a 60MW connection into an adjacent substation due in 2017 – meaning locals won't see their lights flicker every time Kim Kardashian uploads another nude selfie.

According to the Irish Examiner the cost of the site is around €100,000 per acre. For an admittedly crude comparison, we happen to know you could pick up some fine secluded agriculture land in picturesque County Cavan for less than €10,000 per acre.

Sadly though you’d be missing out on the Cork site’s proximity to the Hibernia Network subsea cable, which the developers are banking on to deliver the shortest available data latency between Europe and the US East Coast.

Silicon Republic adds that other data centres are on the Cork drawing board, including a proposed EMC facility. The city is also home to offices for Qualcomm, IBM, Pivotal and Eventbrite, and a biotech cluster.

Apple also has a major office in Cork. However, rather than site its latest proposed data centre nearby, it chose to snap up land in Athenry, Galway for a series of data halls that could eventually hit 30,000 square meters. The site already has near mythic status, due to being a setting for a particularly popular Irish sing-along-favourite – though the same could be said for virtually anywhere in Ireland.

However, Apple’s proposed plant has attracted strenuous opposition on account of its claimed impact on local bat and badger populations. Humans are also exercised by issues of traffic congestion, noise and light pollution, flooding, and the loss of woodland. And a well. By way of mitigation, Apple has offered to construct walking trails, Galway’s 250,000 population currently having a mere 2,374 square miles to stretch their legs in.

Apple’s appeal turned nuclear this week.

Business Insider reports that the firm had chosen the site in part because it wanted to make sure it was at least 320km away from any nuclear facilities – i.e. Britain’s own sites. Unfortunately, objectors at the latest hearing pointed out that no other tech giants seemed to think a 320km nuke exclusion zone was necessary – see developments in Cork – before adding that the Galway site is in fact, less than 320km away from the nearest (UK) nuclear site, Anglesey’s now shuttered Wylfa reprocessing plant.

This is quite apart from the possibility that if Sellafield were to go up in a puff of smoke populations across Europe might have more pressing things on their mind that downloading Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘WeAlmost Lost Detroit’ ®


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