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potential tsunamis. Floods, blizzards, killer heat waves, even fires — not so much. We don’t have a lot of natural disaster potential here. Would you want your data stored in Tornado Alley, or a hurricane path or atop the San Andreas fault? Probably not. We also don’t have much humidity. We have a nice climate, and in the summer, it tends to cool down at night, which also helps when so much heatproducing electrical equipment is involved. “And third, our location in the Pacific Northwest certainly is an advantage in terms of our proximity to some of the huge tech firms just to our west,” Connors said. “And we have space to put them,” he added. Looking at it financially, there are some pretty big numbers out there. And Idaho has been beaten to some of those numbers by the likes of Prineville, Oregon, and Des Moines, Iowa. Back in 2010, Facebook chose Prineville, just northeast of Bend, to build a huge data center. A couple of years later, Apple came to town. In December 2017, Facebook announced plans to build two more data centers. Meanwhile, Apple now has three data centers in Prineville. Even Des Moines has been “wildly successful” attracting data centers, Connors said. That area has seen billions of dollars of investment, including Facebook, Microsoft and a new $1.4 billion center coming online in 2020 by Apple. “The need for these kinds of facilities is simply going to increase,” Connors said.

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A needed boost So how many data centers are there in Idaho? In early 2018, there were about six. Four of them were single-entity data centers, and two of them were multiuser facilities that can be used by local companies. Fiberpipe is one of those multiuser companies, with about 10,000 servers and more than 110 customers. A seventh data center is being constructed in Pocatello. It’s a $100 million facility for the FBI to consolidate about 100 data centers into two locations — West Virginia and Idaho. At the moment, Idaho’s great potential still sits on the table. That’s because quite a few other states offer tax incentives to these businesses. The specialized equipment that houses this data is expensive to purchase and upgrade. “We have all the advantages other than offering tax advantages,” Klinger said. “Sixteen other states have those incentives, but they don’t have the other advantages we have,” Connors said.“But the reason we don’t get looked at is we don’t have that incentive piece.” It’s not for lack of effort. Interested parties have been lobbying the state Legislature for the past two years and will try again in 2019. “I think we have a good bill,” Meuleman said.“Sometimes these things take time and a lot of education.” “After two years of talking to legislators, what we’ve learned is Idaho is a fairly rural state, so we have lots of land to build on, but we’re also top in the country for entrepreneurship,” Klinger said. “So what we’re looking for is to encourage companies that invest in their IT department hardware and infrastructure to receive some type of tax rebate or tax incentive for buying and hosting it here and

0003642563-01.College Of Western Idaho / Retail - 262632. . . . . . . . . . Anderson, Angelina Sun, Jun 24, 2018 . . . . Sun, Jun 24, 2018 3.56” x 9.88”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Complete

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Profile for Boise Metro Chamber

2018 Boise Valley Spotlight Magazine  

The Boise Valley Spotlight magazine is our annual membership directory. Together with our publishing partner, the Idaho Statesman, we share...

2018 Boise Valley Spotlight Magazine  

The Boise Valley Spotlight magazine is our annual membership directory. Together with our publishing partner, the Idaho Statesman, we share...