Less than six months apart, the scene is repeating itself. Marseille, May 27: the local politician flocked to visit the site of the future Interxion data center (“data center”), its fourth in the city. Same parterre of elected officials, on October 5, in Bruges (Gironde), on the outskirts of Bordeaux, for the inauguration of the Equinix data center. At a distance of 600 kilometers, the city councilors show their satisfaction, seeing in these infrastructures an asset to position themselves at the forefront of the digital revolution. “Here, companies will have technological capabilities that they would not have elsewhere”, rejoices Alain Anziani, PS president of Bordeaux Métropole.
It is no coincidence that two coastal towns are candidates to become the major regional centers of the data economy. Marseille is at the arrival of about fifteen submarine cables, these critical infrastructures through which 90% of the world’s Internet traffic passes. On October 19, Orange finalized the landing of the most important of them, Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (Peace), which, from 2022, will link Europe to Asia, via East Africa. According to the specialized site TeleGeography, the Phocaean city is already located at 9e world rank of cities offering the greatest data transit capacity (behind Paris, 4e). In Gironde, the Amitié cable should be put into service in the coming months, to allow data to be transmitted as quickly as possible between the United States and the Old Continent.
The objective is to create an ecosystem of companies for which the circulation of data, in large volumes and at very high speed, is necessary, such as telecom operators or those in the cloud (dematerialized computing). Régis Castagné, Managing Director of Equinix for France, also describes a whole series of use cases, still in their infancy, for which the proximity of such equipment represents an asset: “Smart cities [villes intelligentes], telemedicine, 5G. “
Promising locations in terms of employment
At the local level, the various left mayor of Bruges emphasizes that the arrival of these new actors contributes to the regional planning policy: “In the north of Bordeaux, we have aging activity areas, which are just waiting to be modernized”, explains Brigitte Terraza. In its town, Equinix has invested in a freight area. In Marseille, Interxion has built its facilities on the site of the old abandoned German submarine base.
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