You probably know Kansas City’s central location makes us a significant player in the transportation industry because major rail lines and interstate highways converge here. What you may not know is that Internet fiber cables follow those exact same routes, which also makes us a critical hub of the information superhighway!
As the Internet and need for connectivity have evolved, hubs called carrier hotels emerged as locations where Internet fiber and data intersected at centralized locations. Carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Unite Private Networks, Level 3 and other carriers and Internet service providers have fiber leading to them, and then the data is distributed via a centralized aggregation point called a “Meet Me Area.”
Typical data centers have two or three carriers who have fiber coming into the building, but a carrier hotel can have 10 or more carriers and networks that have a physical fiber presence. 1102 Grand, a Netrality Property, in downtown Kansas City, MO, is one such location. The building is 26 stories tall with over 155,000 leasable square feet. In fact, 43 carriers converge at the building Meet Me Area, making it a significant hub for the Internet in Kansas City!
According to Greg Elliott, director of business development at 1102 Grand, clients such as AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Unite Private Networks, Level 3 and other carriers have a presence in the Meet Me Area which serves as a neutral spot whereby they can connect with government, educational, other carrier and business networks. Typically they are networks that have large connectivity appetites or need to connect to multiple networks in one spot.
“Think of carrier hotels as the on and off-ramp for Internet traffic in the region,” said Elliott. “When the region’s data increases, more carriers, service and content providers will want to expand their footprint here.”
1102 Grand is owned and managed by Netrality Properties, who also has locations in Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Their role is to manage the building, which includes leasing space, providing security, and ensuring the power and cooling systems are meeting the high demand that their data center customers expect.
People across the country are noticing Kansas City as a leader in technological innovation with companies headquartered here like Garmin, Cerner, Sprint, Black and Veatch and many others and the introduction of Google Fiber and our Smart City initiative. Elliott said there is a huge opportunity for new data centers in Kansas City because of the city’s emphasis on technology growth.
“The innovation happening in Kansas City will help grow and attract data centers, both public and private, across the city,” said Elliott. “We are also a good fit for national or international companies who want to have a footprint in the middle of the United States.”
Content companies and social media platforms already have data centers in larger markets, but Elliott said they are now looking to construct centers closer to their end users to provide faster service and a better experience. Elliott said Kansas City should be an ideal spot for those companies.
“Kansas City already has a carrier hotel, there are world-class data center engineering and architectural firms here ready to help, aggressive incentive packages, inexpensive land, and a centralized location,” said Elliott.
It’s an exciting time to be in the technology industry in Kansas City. To learn more about how 1102 Grand, a Netrality Property, please visit their website.