#Facebook to build #Arctic #serverfarm in Sweden NOT #NWT #Yukon #Nunavut @NWTel ?#CdnPoli -
[excerpts] Facebook is to build a new server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle — its first outside the United States — to improve performance for European users, officials of the social networking site said Thursday.It will also expose them to potential eavesdropping from a Swedish intelligence agency, according to Sweden's Pirate Party, a group opposing government interference with the internet.
Facebook confirmed Thursday it had reviewed potential locations across Europe and decided on the northern Swedish city of Lulea for the data center partly because of the cold climate — crucial for keeping the servers cool — and access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities.
The move reflects the growing international presence of the California-based site, which counts 800 million users worldwide.
Construction could cost $760 million
Facebook didn't give the price of its investment, but Lulea officials have previously projected construction costs of up to $760 million. The Swedish government said it was ready to pitch in with $16 million.
With winter temperatures well below freezing and summertime highs that rarely climb above 25 C, Lulea has used its frigid climate as a selling point in its efforts to establish itself as a hub for server farms. Other Nordic cities have adopted similar strategies.
In 2009 Google purchased a paper mill in Hamina, southern Finland, and turned it into a data center, using seawater from the Baltic Sea for its cooling system.
Servers inside data centers are the backbone of internet services such as Facebook. The servers store and transmit billions of status updates, links, photos and all the outside apps used by Facebook's members.