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Google to spend $13bn in 2019 on additional US datacentres and offices

Search giant Google sets its sights on expanding its presence across the US during 2019 to accommodate the demand for its consumer and enterprise-focused internet and cloud services

Google’s parent company Alphabet is to spend $13bn this year on building new datacentres and offices across the US, and expanding the company’s presence in 14 states, its CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed.

“These investments will give us the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees, and enable the creation of more than 10,000 construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia,” said Pichai in a blog post announcing the move.

The investment will make 2019 the second consecutive year in a row that Google’s operations will be growing faster outside of the San Francisco area than in it, Pichai added, with the firm set to have a presence in 24 states by the time this work is complete.

To put the level of investment in perspective, the firm revealed during its recent fourth quarter results that it has invested more than €4.3bn ($4.85bn) in its five European datacentres since 2007 to-date.

“This growth will allow us to invest in the communities we operate, while we improve the products and services that help billions of people and businesses globally,” added Pichai.

To ensure the growth of its datacentre footprint does not come at the expense of the environment, Pichai said the firm will be ramping up its investments in renewable energy accordingly.

“Our datacentres make a significant economic contribution to local communities, as do the associated $5bn in energy investments that our energy purchasing supports,” he added.

Alphabet is certainly no slouch when it comes to investing in datacentres, with data from Synergy Research Group recently marking Google out as one of the most prolific server farm builders of 2018, based on its analysis of the world’s 20 biggest cloud and internet firms.

Together, with Amazon, the market watcher’s analysis suggests the pair were jointly responsible for building more than half of the 40 or so new hyperscale datacentres that came online over the course of 2018.

As referenced by Pichai during a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter results, datacentre expansion is a top priority for Google, so it can keep up with the demand for its consumer- and enterprise-grade cloud products, which include public cloud services and online productivity tools, and the continued growth of its search, advertising and YouTube business operations.

The size and robustness of its network of datacentres is often cited by users of its cloud services, in particular, as a major source of competitive difference, when weighing up which provider’s public cloud to use.

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