MAYFIELD West will host the flagship site for a $19.6 million Leading Edge Data Centre and a secondary site with a "substantially higher" investment price tag.
Sydney-based LEDC has development approval for the first centre in McIntosh Drive and has earmarked a second site in the same street for development. It has engaged global company Schneider Electric as its technology partner and secured Soul Pattinson as a major investor.
Leading Edge chief executive officer Chris Thorpe said the Hunter project would be the first of a 12-month rollout of regional data centres spanning from Albury to Coffs Harbour and inland.
He said businesses ranging from telcos and councils to manufacturers were "lining up" to store their IT infrastructure in the "world-class, Tier-3", 1.5MW data centre campus. [Tier-3 is the ability for continuous, maintainable "up time" relying on two levels of power backup].
Mr Thorpe said that the centre would provide direct cloud access to all major cloud environments in Newcastle, reducing the need of local businesses to be connected to Sydney data centres. He said regional Australian had been "ignored for so long" in terms of infrastructure needed to support economic growth.
"The volume of data being created is growing exponentially and obviously it has to be processed somewhere, if that IT infrastructure is in Sydney it costs a lot of money to have a big capacity pipe back to Sydney so you might as well reduce commercial costs, have your IT infrastructure close by and have a fast and efficient service."
Leading Edge will offer a "parity pricing model" comparable to Sydney services.
"Normally in the regions the quality of the service falls away and becomes costlier. We are focused on closing the digital divide to make regional locations more attractive to live - in business they can compete on a level playing field," Mr Thorpe said.
With COVID-19 moving the office to home, he said connectivity was more vital and it was a perfect chance for Newcastle to attract large enterprises keen to reduce their metro footprint via regional satellite offices.
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