What Happens When Big Tech Datacenters Move into Towns?

What happens when big tech datacenters move into small towns? We take a look at the effects on the local economy, infrastructure, and quality of life.

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In recent years, we’ve seen a trend of big tech companies moving their datacenters into small towns. This has brought a lot of jobs and economic growth to these areas, but it’s also had some unintended consequences.

Some residents have found that their internet speeds and reliability have gone down since the datacenters moved in. This is because the datacenters are using up a lot of the bandwidth that was previously available to everyone in the town.

Other residents have complained about the increased noise and light pollution from the datacenters. And some people have even been displaced from their homes, as the land around the datacenters becomes more valuable.

So while there are some benefits to having a big tech datacenter in your town, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of.

The Positives

It’s no secret that big tech companies have a lot of money. They can use this money to invest in the towns that they move their datacenters into. This can lead to more jobs and economic growth in the town. The datacenter can also bring in new technologies that the town may not have had access to before.

More Jobs

The Positives
More Jobs
The most obvious benefit of having a data center move into your town is the influx of jobs that it brings. Data centers need security guards, office and janitorial staff, admins, and engineers to keep everything running smoothly. Most data center employees are highly paid, so this can have a big impact on the local economy.

Improved Infrastructure

The migration of Big Tech datacenters into small towns typically improves the surrounding infrastructure. This improved infrastructure includes better roads, water and sewer systems, and increased wireless coverage. Additionally, these datacenters often bring high-paying jobs to the area.

Increased Tax Revenue

The most obvious benefit of having a datacenter in your town is the increased tax revenue. Datacenters are high-value property, and the taxes they generate can provide a real boost to local economies. In addition, datacenters often create indirect economic benefits by providing jobs for construction workers, support staff, and others.

The Negatives

When large technology companies move into small towns, they often do so without much fanfare. They purchase buildings and land, set up their infrastructure, and begin hiring employees. While this can provide a boost to the local economy, there can also be some negative effects.

Increased Traffic

According to a study by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, traffic in 11 small towns increased by an average of 60 percent when a new datacenter moved in. The study also found that the number of heavy trucks traveling through those towns increased by 120 percent.

More Waste

The amount of electronic waste (e-waste) produced each year is staggering, and it’s only increasing as our dependence on technology grows. In 2016, the world generated a total of 44.7 million metric tons of e-waste, and that number is expected to increase to 52.2 million metric tons by 2021. A large portion of this waste comes from outdated or broken electronics, but a significant amount is also generated by datacenters.

Datacenters are responsible for a huge amount of energy consumption and waste production. In the U.S., datacenters use about 3% of the total electricity generated each year, and they’re only getting larger and more energy-hungry. As the demand for streaming services and other online content increases, so does the need for more datacenters. These facilities are often built in rural areas where land is cheap and there’s plenty of space for expansion, but this can have a negative impact on the surrounding community.

There are a number of environmental concerns that come with datacenters, but one of the biggest problems is the sheer amount of waste they produce. Most datacenters are built to accommodate future growth, which means they’re often much larger than they need to be at any given time. This results in a lot of empty space that goes to waste, and it also means that datacenters use more energy than necessary to cool all that empty space. In addition to wasted space and energy, datacenters also generate a lot of noise pollution. The fans used to keep equipment cool can be very loud, making it difficult for residents living nearby to get a good night’s sleep.

Higher Energy Costs

Big tech datacenters use a lot of energy, and that means higher electricity bills for the towns they move into. A large datacenter can use as much power as a small town, and that power has to come from somewhere. Most often, it comes from coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of air pollution.

Datacenters also generate a lot of heat, which needs to be cooled somehow. The most common way to do this is by using air conditioners, which also use a lot of energy. All of this energy use has a real cost, both in terms of money and in terms of environmental damage.


The arrival of a big tech datacenter can mean an influx of jobs and investment into a town, but it can also lead to increased competition for housing and other resources. towns need to be prepared to work with these companies to ensure that the benefits of having a datacenter outweigh the challenges.

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