‘Broadband Britannia’ is Sunk without Data Centre Strategy

Plans to stay on top of the international broadband league tables will fail unless the UK’s data centre infrastructure is overhauled according to Alex Rabbetts, MD of data centre specialists Migration Solutions. He said: “Unless there is concerted action, London will run out of data centre capacity by 2012 and not be able to support the new broadband networks and services.”

Plans for a coordinated approach between companies and government for deploying the new networks were published by the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) in its recent report, ‘Pipe Dreams? Prospects for the next generation broadband deployment in the UK’ last month. It called for a target for the UK to remain in the top quartile of countries’ broadband penetration by 2012.

Rabbetts said: “I agree with the target, but it will mean that data volumes are going to ‘hockey stick’ against the backdrop of a lack of data centre space in the Capital, emerging environmental regulation that makes the construction of new space problematic and expensive, and the impending extraordinary power demands needed to build the infrastructure for Olympic games. These factors will conspire to leave London with no spare data centre capacity for the growth envisaged by the BSG, or in the business plans of the network operators, Web 2.0 services providers and funds that have invested in them.”

Rabbetts said that provision for data centre capacity should be included in the national strategy for new broadband networks and services: “Data centres are an integral part of the broadband supply chain. High value employment, a competitive economy and great Web 2.0 services all depend on this perspective being understood by the people who plan and build our networks, homes, office buildings and cities.”