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Green Internet centre planned in Manchester

Article date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 14:22 GMT

Neil Lathwood, Technical Director at UKFastProperty developer Ask:Goodman is joining a partnership with Internet hosting specialist UKFast.Net and Manchester City Council to build an Internet exchange and hosting facility using the latest techniques to minimize carbon emissions. The purpose-built facility will be sited in Central Park, East Manchester and aims to be operational in the second half of 2008. The facility will be the first large scale green hosting centre in the world and will generate some of its own renewable energy as well as re-using the large amount of heat generated by server computers. The latest low-power computers will also be installed. Until now, only small scale green hosting sites have been developed in the US. A recent report (1) estimated the electricity used by Internet hosting facilities and data centres worldwide at 0.8% of total world electricity consumption. Experts have become increasingly concerned about the contribution of these centres – which are the backbone of the Internet - to climate change. The new project's offer of high quality hosting and ultra high-speed Internet access is expected to attract high-tech firms to Central Park, bringing jobs to the regeneration area. In another innovative aspect, firms using the facility will be invited to join a cooperative which will co-own the centre. Cllr Neil Swannick, Manchester's executive councillor for the environment said “This is exactly the sort of development we want to encourage, building on Manchester's enviable track record in developing digital industries, while leading the way in building greener sustainable cities”. Dave Carter, head of the Manchester Digital Development Agency – part of the City Council – said, “Manchester is already the UK's second hub for Internet traffic, and this facility will help satisfy the massive demand for capacity in the city, as well as being the first significant step to a greener Internet”. MD of UKFast, Lawrence Jones said: “We have been looking for ways of reducing the environmental impact of our hosting services, and this project will enable us to keep it to a minimum. This will be the first large scale hosting centre to do so.” Manchester-based UKFast is one of the UK's top hosting companies, and has won the ISPA Best Hosting Provider award for the last three years running. Ask:Goodman is the developer behind Central Park, one of the largest urban business parks in the UK, and home to Fujitsu. Co-founder Simon Bate said “This exciting development will be a world first. The state-of-the art facilities will be a major boon for high-tech businesses locating in Central Park and the surrounding areas of North and East Manchester.” Notes (1). ESTIMATING TOTAL POWER CONSUMPTION BY SERVERS IN THE U.S. AND THE WORLD by Jonathan G. Koomey, Ph.D., February 15, 2007 For more information, please contact Jonathan Bowers 0870 421 1585
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