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Facebook owner Meta plots Spanish datacentre build to power ‘metaverse’ strategy

Social media giant Meta wants to put Spain at the ‘heart’ of its vision for how the next-generation of the internet will work, with plans to build a datacentre and a remote working hub

Social media conglomerate Meta is expanding its European datacentre presence by commencing the build-out of a €1bn server farm in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain next year.

The company, which owns and operates the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp social media platforms, confirmed the project in a blog post several days after Spanish news site ABC Talavera announced the development, which is expected to take six years to complete.

According to the news report, the project will create up to 1,000 jobs during the initial build-out, with the region’s councillor for urban planning, José Antonio Carrillo, describing it as a “colossal project for Spain and internationally”.

The report also claims the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Business and Employment has been working with the city council and Invest in Spain to court Meta and convince the company to site its next datacentre development in the region.

The company already has European datacentre campuses in Ireland, Sweden and Denmark, and – in a blog post confirming the Spanish build – it went into further detail about how it is “placing Spain at the heart of [its] plans” to build out its “metaverse” strategy.

The company’s take on the “metaverse” is centred on the prediction that, in the years to come, internet usage will evolve to a point where it is built around a collection of “interconnected virtual experiences” that stand to open up creative, social and economic opportunities.

“The metaverse won’t be owned by any one company, and it isn’t going to happen overnight … and we want people in Spain to help us shape it right from the start,” the company said. “We’re putting Spain at the heart of our company’s future, by recruiting up to 2,000 people in the country over the next five years.”

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As well as the datacentre development, the company is plotting to build a “flexible base” in Spain for Meta’s remote workforce, which will also provide space for local tech entrepreneurs and startups to do business as well.

It is also supporting the buildout of the country’s subsea cable connections through the creation of the world’s first half-petabit transatlantic submarine, which it claims will benefit other tech firms in the region by enabling their ability to innovate and grow.

“Spain is at the forefront of European tech,” said the company blog post. “The country benefits from having two strong tech hubs: Barcelona and Madrid, as well as newer centres in Valencia and Andalusia. Both are at the centre of the tech scene and attract entrepreneurs, talent, and local and international investors.

“Meta has had a long-term presence in Spain – Spanish was the first non-English language for Facebook back in 2007; we started our operations in the country in 2009 and we opened our first office here in 2015,” it said.

“As our company looks to the future, Spain’s advantages make it natural for us to invest here.”

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