Google currently operates eight massive data centers in the U.S. and Europe. It is also constructing new data centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan right now, but one glaring blank spot on the company’s map is Latin America, where the number of Internet users continues to grow rapidly. To get its servers closer to these users, Google has now announced that its next data center will be located in Quilicura, Chile, a municipality that’s essentially a suburb of Santiago. The project, says Google, will cost about $150 million and “will be one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly in Latin America.”
Google plans to bring the facility online by late 2013. Like most data centers, the project will only employ about 20 people (including catering and security staff) once it is operational. To engage with the local community, however, Google also plans to launch its community grants program in Quilicura that will support organizations that focus on technology literacy, renewable energy and entrepreneurship.
Google says that it chose Chile because it “offers an ideal combination of reliable infrastructure, a skilled workforce and a commitment to transparent and business friendly regulations.” The Chilean government has also made technology and start-ups a focus of its economic program.
Google started the construction phase of its data centers in Singapore and Hong Kong in late 2011 and broke ground for its facility in Taiwan earlier this year. All of these data centers are slated to open in 2013.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...