Facebook is looking to build its largest European data center to date, but the choice of location, as well as the methods used to attempt to acquire the properties, have sparked public backlash and even some resignations.
A data center is at the heart of cloud storage because it is where the people (or in this particular case Facebook) using the online services would store the data they generate.
As in an in-depth article by. reported BuzzFeed news, Facebook has turned its gaze to 166 hectares of land in Zeewolde, a small and relatively new village in the Dutch province of Flevoland.
The entire province was once a shallow brackish water before it was turned into fertile land by damming a North Sea bay for 60 years.
According to the report, Facebook chose this location for several reasons, including the Netherlands as one of the largest tax havens in the world, as the landing point for a “bundle of transatlantic submarine telecommunications cables” and as home to one of Europe’s largest Internet exchanges.
When the local community learned that the community had voted to sell the property, which is half of New York’s Central Park, for a cloud computing project to Facebook, they were stunned. But here, too, the kicker – the councilors who cast their vote (11 – 8 in favor) – were also stunned. The company they negotiated with wasn’t Facebook or Meta.
It was called a tulip.
Negotiations with Tulip
As it turns out, Facebook has registered a front company to keep its interest in the property secret in order to minimize public scrutiny and backlash.
Facebook said it did so to remove potential city council bias – but it still faced major public backlash. Not only is the public rejecting the idea of turning fertile land into concrete and glass, but they are also rejecting the idea that such a large data center soak up hard earned green energy for the benefit of others, not the local community.
The problem of energy consumption also seems to be a big one. Most of the community’s energy comes from around 400 windmills that were built on the outskirts. It is estimated that Facebook’s data center would use twice as much energy as the entire city, which is not only a problem in itself, but also because the company would have to build additional windmills.
One of the city councilors who voted against selling the land to Facebook estimates that an additional 140 windmills would need to be built. “So where do we put them? Nobody knows, ”he said.
Another councilor who warned his party that the negotiations contained “undetermined conflicts of interest” was reportedly forced to resign by his colleagues.
But Facebook is not giving in. The report claims it even asked the Dutch government to classify the data center project as a matter of national concern.
For now, the sale of the land has slowed thanks to the backlash from the community. A spokesman for the country’s real estate agency told the publication that the land would “only be sold if a number of mandatory sustainability requirements were met”.
- You might also want to check out our list of the best cloud hosting services right now
Over: BuzzFeed news
This article was previously published on Source link