Why is it Important to be Carrier-Neutral?

CALGARY, ALBERTA – CapRE’s 2018 Calgary and Alberta Data Center Summit featured a full-day of first-rate market analysis and perspective. The opening panel of the day, Greater Calgary Center Market 360: What Firms are Actively Developing, Investing and What are the Unique Regional Advantages from Site Selection, Connectivity and Cost of Power Perspectives? largely focused on two things – what Calgary is doing well to attract data centers, and what it could do better. However, at the conclusion of the discussion, the panel took a question from the audience, which was much broader than they likely expected.

data center summitWhy is it important to be carrier-neutral?” asked the attendee. “Does being carrier-neutral contribute to the acceleration of the Western Canadian market?”

Chad Arnold, Senior Account Executive at Equinix eagerly chimed in with a deft response. “Carrier neutrality is critical. When we look at the reason why all of the hyperscalers chose to put their threads either within Equinix or even just adjacent to it, it was based on the fact that we are the home of carrier neutrality,” he asserted. “It’s why we’re aligned so closely with Shaw and certainly other providers that have routes and fiber access within Western Canada and beyond.”

“I think that it allows number one, the enterprise consumers to be….“agnostic” in some ways,”  continued Arnold. “In the sense that they’re looking at the routes, the latency, the diversity, over just one provider to serve those requirements. And I think that if I was going to move toward a model where these different IoT data applications are being best-served by new technologies that actually enable lower latency and better performance, then that neutrality is important to just serve whatever customers need and what they’re hoping to establish.”

Nicholas Jeffery, CEO of Uniserve Communications then chimed in. “The difference in landscape on carrier-neutrality…is that it’s probably the first or second question that gets asked by enterprise,” he shared. “And luckily some of the data center incumbents here have got some carrier neutrality. And in Europe you’ve got 200 or 300 carriers in one data center. Digital realty, when they build a data center, they don’t target the enterprise. They target carriers. Carriers first, at least fir six months, to ramp up as many of those as they can.”

“And as soon as one comes in, I guarantee that the others start to follow. So the strategy again has to shift, and carrier-neutrality is critical,” he concluded.

For more coverage of the exclusive Calgary insight on this panel, check out previous CapRE Insider Reports:

Banner Photo (L-R): Chad Arnold, Senior Account Executive, Equinix & Nicholas Jeffery, CEO, Uniserve Communications