Data Centers Increase Regional Competitiveness

  • Data centers provide the basis for success of metropolitan regions

  • Digital infrastructures boost local growth and employment

  • Frankfurt benefits as Germany’s largest data center location

Digital infrastructure such as data centers contribute significantly to the prosperity of a region – both initially at the set-up stage, and on an ongoing basis during their operation. This conclusion was drawn by the study "Available Digital Infrastructures - Guarantor for Growth of the Digital Industry," conducted by the Digital Hub FrankfurtRheinMain. Metropolitan regions with available digital infrastructures attract employment in high-tech industries, in knowledge-intensive services within industry, and in the cultural and creative branches. Where efficient digital infrastructures exist, you will also find internationally recognized stock exchanges and trading centers.

“Data centers and broadband networks have a comparable economic significance to roads, public transport networks, and water and electricity supply," maintains Béla Waldhauser, Leader of the Datacenter Expert Group at eco - Association of the Internet Industry. For some time now, these have served as indispensable prerequisites for stable economic growth. More and more private and everyday activities are also based on data streams from and to data centers (in the case of the study, data centers in Germany) – whether it involves shopping in supermarkets, the daily use of smartphones, or banking activities.

Digitalization ensures economic growth

Regular investment in digital infrastructures makes a direct contribution to increased employment and GDP growth. “Data centers are drivers of the digital economy in terms of job creation and the establishment of downstream industries,” says Waldhauser. Economic sectors cannot perform without digital infrastructure capacities. As Waldhauser notes, “The speed and availability requirements of our increasingly digitalized society are growing.” According to estimates by the Borderstep Institute, more than 200,000 jobs in Germany were already directly or indirectly dependent on the data center market in 2016.*

Frankfurt has one of the highest IP densities worldwide

This is having a particularly positive impact on the FrankfurtRheinMain metropolitan region, where more than half of the commercial German Internet data centers are located. The competitiveness of this region benefits from the density, interconnection, and economies of scale of digital infrastructures. “FrankfurtRheinMain has the world's highest Internet platform capacity and the most extensive international fiber optic connections in Germany, which together give it one of the highest IP densities in the world," says Waldhauser. The diversity of the provider landscape in FrankfurtRheinMain is characterized by the presence and intense interconnection of all internationally renowned, commercial data center providers.

A summary of the study results is available here in the German language:

http://creativehubfrankfurt.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Excerpt-Studie-Digital-Hub.pdf

* https://www.borderstep.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Studie-Rechenzentren-in-Hessen-2015-Stand-13-01-2016.pdf