Column: Attracting Tech Giants To Bermuda

June 26, 2020 | 4 Comments

[Opinion column written by Gilbert Darrell]

There are conversations working around the business and tech circles in Bermuda on how the country could attract a tech giant like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook to our shores, particularly for a data center.

Data centers are key storage locations where everything from company records, your Facebook and Instagram photos, emails, Netflix videos and everything in between is stored for quick access. There are thousands of them around the world but none of any major significance located in Bermuda.

Attracting such a company would bring major recognition to the country in many areas, for instance the government has been working to attract more undersea cable companies as well as a big push in Fintech and technology in general. Let’s not forget the positive increase in highly skilled jobs such a company would bring as well.

1st and especially when it comes to any major company building out a data center, there must be access to cheaper power.

Having a special economic zone that BELCO provides cheap rates too [I'm referring to a 3-8 cents per kwh type pricing] is one major item that has to be addressed. Power in the USA and Canada is much cheaper than what we see in Bermuda for many reasons, but this is one area that prevents these companies from having a legitimate interest in Bermuda for data storage. Servers are the cooling required for them are very energy intensive.

We’re already a secure location that, even with a threat of hurricanes, weather’s quite well. This is due to our well built infrastructure, having unique protective geography, being farther north [in cooler waters] than other “Carribean” nations and having a well thought out building code that handles adverse weather well.

2nd and a quick win for Parliament is to pass GDPR or similar legislation that would protect data encryption, especially for companies, based in Bermuda.

Australia has done the opposite, in 2018 passed a law requiring companies be able to accces any stored data, including data encrypted by its customers that the company has littelry no access to. This was done via the typical way freedoms are stripped from the people, all in the name of “security” and “anti-terrorism”.

That is frankly an impossible task without developing a “skeleton” key that could undermine the entire underpinnings of encrypted data at baseline. Imagine a scenario where your bank account login could be compromised, hacked, by a leaked “common key” and you start to see the iceberg heading towards Australia.

This law has been resoundingly criticized from all corners of business, technology and security experts and industry and has many company’s contemplating leaving Australia.

If Bermuda would to plant a “legal flag” into our sand, companies looking for a secure location to store their data, including large tech giants, would find Bermuda even more attractive.

It’s a simple 1-2 combination. Lower the cost of energy in Bermuda to be competitive to North America and provide legislation to protect data security in Bermuda. We could find ourselves on the upswing of a new technology surge to help boost and economy in dire need of assistance.

- Gilbert Darrell

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Comments (4)

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  1. Unbelievable says:

    It should also attract media, production or music companies. Bermuda is kind of a stick in the mud, conservative little place and these companies would boost the profile of the place at least.

  2. Um Um Like says:

    What a load of crap. We’re better off sticking with the “exciting and promising” space industry. Like most ideas to turn Bermuda around, we’re a day late and a dollar short.

    How do you expect to get cheap power for data centers when we can’t even get cheap power for ourselves? Why would a company in this sector want to come to Bermuda when cheap power and high speed internet access are already available in other jurisdictions?

    …”the positive increase in highly skilled jobs..” you mean more foreigners taking our jowbs? This government and their sheeple have already made it clear that we don’t want expats.

  3. All BS! says:

    Hilarious! Ain’t no Google or Microsoft coming to Bermuda! What a dreamer!

  4. Noel Ashford says:

    What garbage – I am a Bermudian & senior tech person abroad, put frankly and honestly, Bermuda serves no purpose of any kind to a global Cloud service and is filling no gap in any industry to warrant that kind of tech here. The only data stored in Bermuda is surrounding legality of offshore companies and are all VERY small satellite shops. Also BDA has a SEVERE lack in regards to its talent pool for senior devops people to run services like this, even if it did exist it would therefore be run by more seasons devops folk abroad. Articles like this are just hogwash like BurtCoin was / Fiction.

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