Verizon mulls Wyoming mega data center

Jan. 17, 2011
Verizon Communications is eyeing a 160-acre parcel of land 1 mile north of Laramie, Wyoming as a possible site for a massive data center.

The Laramie Boomerang has reported that Verizon Communications is eyeing a 160-acre parcel of land 1 mile north of Laramie, Wyoming for possible location of a massive data center that could create up to 200 jobs. While emphasizing that Verizon doesn't have a firm timeline on moving forward with the land purchase, Verizon spokeswoman Lynn Staggs said the company is in the process of acquiring a two-year option on the parcel.

“This is just an option for the land at this point,” she cautioned. “We have not made any decisions about locating a data center there. We have over 250 data centers around the (Laramie) is just another location.”

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The land in question was made available for purchase when local county commissioners approved a zone-change application last Novemer. A copy of the county planner’s report says the mega data processing center would create 120 highly technical computer-programming jobs and 80 information technology and grounds-maintenance positions.

Bloomberg reported on Jan 14. that Wyoming Governor Matt Mead urged Wyoming lawmakers to approve incentives to entice companies to build large facilities to house computer systems in the state. Mead asked lawmakers to approve $14.5 million to improve infrastructure to make locations more attractive for data centers. He explained his request to the Wyoming Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee, which took no action on it.

Mead said he expects that the data centers will lure other companies to the area, creating more high-tech jobs and diversifying the state's economy. Wyoming currently relies overwhelmingly on energy revenues. "We need to recognize that Colorado, or New Jersey or New York -- we're in competition with them," said Mead.

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