The Belgian press yesterday announced that Google will soon open a data center in Saint Ghislain, Belgium. This is a 200 million Euro investment for Google. The main reason for this choice are the fact that the chosen site in well connected with optical fiber and the nearby canal will provide the water needed for the cooling of the equipment rooms.
The less announced reasons are probably the public subsidies the company will get from the EU and the regional government. This region of Belgium, known as Borinage (link to Wikipedia. The French page is more detailed), is facing huge unemployment issues. It was once prosperous region, thanks to its coal mines. They were closed in the late sixties and, since then, no real alternative industries could be set up.
Yet another reason Google may choose to settle there is that it is only half an hour away from Brussels and the European institutions. In the long run, this is cheaper and more effective than flying lobbyists to Brussels every week.
This announcement may sound like bitter news for the Luxembourg authorities, which are currently investing a lot of money in a fiber network throughout and outside the country, in the hope to attract companies like Google.
I wonder only…. which East European Country will host Google’s Data Center for the region? Would that be Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Czech, Hungary, or some other? What do you think?