What happens when tech datacenters move to small towns? Well, a lot of things actually. From creating jobs to boosting the local economy, there are many benefits.
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Big tech companies are moving to small towns
Big tech companies are moving to small towns, attracted by lower energy costs and a sense of community they can find nowhere else. This migration is reshaping the economy, culture, and social fabric of these towns.
They’re looking for cheaper land and labor
The migration of big tech companies to small towns is motivated by a number of factors, chief among them being cheaper land and labor.
In recent years, the cost of living in major tech hubs like San Francisco and Seattle has skyrocketed, making it difficult for companies to attract and retain talent. At the same time, the rise of cloud computing has made it easier for companies to move their operations outside of major metropolitan areas.
Small towns offer a number of advantages for tech companies, including lower costs and a more enjoyable quality of life for employees. In many cases, these towns also offer access to a highly skilled workforce and proximity to major transportation hub
They’re often welcomed with open arms
When big tech companies move into small towns, they’re often welcomed with open arms. After all, these businesses bring with them high-paying jobs and a much-needed influx of capital. However, not everyone is thrilled about these newcomers. Some residents worry that the influx of well-paid tech workers will drive up housing prices and gentrify their community.
Despite these concerns, many small towns are eager to attract datacenters and other tech businesses. In fact, many towns have created special economic development districts specifically for this purpose. If you’re considering moving your datacenter to a small town, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, you’ll need to make sure that your datacenter can meet the town’s power and broadband requirements. Second, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with zoning regulations. And finally, you should be aware of the potential impact your datacenter could have on the local community.
But not everyone is happy about it
The first time Matt Wilcox heard about a new data center going up in his hometown of Douglas, Georgia, he didn’t know what to make of it. “I thought, well, that’s interesting,” recalls Wilcox, who owns a computer repair shop in the small city about an hour south of Atlanta. “I didn’t really think it would have too much of an impact.” That was back in 2014. Now, just a few years later, data centers have transformed Douglas from a sleepy town of about 12,000 people into a booming metropolis with a population that has grown by nearly 10,000. And not everyone is happy about it.
Some worry about the impact on the environment
As datacenters move into small towns, some worry about the impact on the environment. Small towns often don’t have the infrastructure to support large datacenters, and the datacenters can use a lot of energy and water.
Others worry about the impact on the local economy
The influx of well-paid tech workers has caused housing prices to skyrocket, driving many locals out of their homes. The new residents also put a strain on the small towns’ infrastructure, which is often not equipped to handle such a large influx of people. Some worry that the tech industry will eventually move on to another location, leaving the small towns worse off than they were before.