UK’s digital infrastructure boosted by £179m to meet evolving business and consumer needs
Nov 24, 2022
LONDON, UK – Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company, today confirmed its continuing commitment to growing its data centre capacity in the UK. It is expanding two of its International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) sites in London—LD7 and LD8—and has opened a new data centre—MA5—in Manchester, representing an investment of £179 million. In total, Equinix has invested more than £1 billion in the UK’s digital infrastructure.
In an increasingly dynamic world, including competitive pressures, growing customer demands, globalisation, and challenges posed by COVID-19 and Brexit, many businesses are accelerating their digital transformation efforts and prioritising the adoption of hybrid multicloud solutions. In response, Equinix continues to invest in the UK’s interconnection capabilities to help organisations adopt future-proof digital strategies and expand their global opportunities.
Russell Poole, Managing Director for Equinix UK, said: “Our commitment to expanding the UK’s digital infrastructure caters to the increasing number of enterprises requiring ultra-low-latency connectivity, both here and internationally. This further investment will help to maintain the nation’s position as a strategic digital business hub for enterprises looking to compete on a global scale.
“The location of these data centres complements the growth of the UK’s two biggest cities. Manchester is one of Europe's fastest growing business centres for technology and media, while London is a long-established financial centre of the world. Despite Brexit-born uncertainty, there are many reasons to be optimistic about digital transformation and technology investment in the UK.”
The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2023, a market study published by Equinix, forecasts that, in London, overall interconnection bandwidth—the measure of private connectivity for the transfer of data between organisations—is expected to achieve a 43% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025, as the fastest growing core metro. This projected growth is due to be driven by a combination of network and financial services demand for capacity.
Furthermore, the Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey reveals the majority of UK digital leaders (64%) believe the UK is a trailblazer in technological innovation, with 57% of last year’s respondents suggesting that, globally, London is one of the best cities to do business in. Almost 8 out of 10 (79%) respondents expect the UK will remain a world-leading international business hub.
As well as underpinning the UK’s position as a hub for global business, data centres are delivering multiple career opportunities, including roles that coincide with Equinix’s own initiatives to attract new talent and tackle gender inequality within the tech sector. One such programme, recently launched and titled ‘I am Remarkable’, is encouraging women to join the industry. It is particularly focused on women who have no previous experience working in technology.
Lorraine Wilkinson, Vice President of Sales, UK, at Equinix, said: “We are hoping to attract more female talent into the industry. We know through anecdotal feedback that many candidates can be put off applying for tech roles as they believe they don’t have the right skillset. Our initiative helps women recognise that, although they may lack technical training, they hold many extremely valuable and transferable skills that make them ideal employees.
“Today, less than a quarter of IT and tech roles are filled by women, with any meaningful progress to address the imbalance being frustratingly slow. At Equinix, we recognise the value women bring to our workplace, and are working hard to address the gender imbalance.”
Katie Gallagher, Managing Director, Manchester Digital: “This investment into the tech infrastructure in the North West region is hugely welcome. We continue to see consistent growth within the Greater Manchester region for tech and digital start-ups, established companies setting up here, as well as the Government moving departments up north, so all investment into digital infrastructure is much-needed. The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation for many businesses, and this will continue for some years. We’re thrilled to work alongside Equinix and support them as they continue to grow as a business.”
Yannick Leboyer, COO, Zayo Europe: "Zayo has been aggressively investing in the Manchester metro and we saw Equinix opening MA5 as great evidence in the market potential of Manchester. We are looking forward to partnering with Equinix and its customers to provide connectivity into this new facility to the rest of the UK, Europe and USA."
- London is the UK’s largest city and is keen to retain its title as the financial centre of the world. The extension to LD7 (Slough Campus), and LD8 (London's Docklands) will help financial market participants continue to interconnect on a global scale. In 2020, the financial services sector contributed £164.8 billion to the UK economy, 8.6% of total economic output. The sector was largest in London, where half of the sector’s output was generated. (Source: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn06193/)
- The Equinix Slough campus is one of the busiest network nodes in the UK, and offers latency of sub-60 milliseconds to New York. This makes it an ideal high-performance hub for electronic trading, as well as cloud and content service provision.
- Manchester is the UK’s third largest city and the biggest economy in Northern England. It is also Europe’s second largest creative, digital and media hub, and is home to MediaCity UK, one of the world’s most advanced media centres and home to the BBC’s headquarters. The city is a fast-growing technology hub, noted for eCommerce and an emerging start-up ecosystem. It provides low-latency connectivity on network routes to the USA and has access to international subsea cables via Ireland and the West of England.
- MA5 delivers premium colocation and long-term capacity for customers and is suitable for high density deployments. The data centre provides access to Equinix Fabric™, Equinix Internet Exchange™ and Network Edge nodes, making it an attractive interconnection hub and remote geo redundant deployment location for London.
- More than 1,500 companies are part of the Equinix UK ecosystem in London and Manchester, including 250+ networks, 460+ cloud and IT service providers, 350+ financial services firms, and 100+ content and digital media businesses.
- Equinix is a founding member of the Sustainable Trading membership network dedicated to transforming environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices within the financial markets trading industry. Its thirty members range from asset management, banking and brokerage to exchanges, technology and service providers. Together, they focus on developing industry best practices, benchmarking, and transparency. Findings from the Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey, reveal 8 out of 10 (82%) respondents in the UK report sustainability is one of their organisation’s most important drivers, and 79% say their customers want them to show they are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of IT infrastructure. Globally, this figure stands at over two thirds, at 68%.
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