Slough: Europe’s Data Hub

British culture has not been kind to Slough. The Thames Valley town was berated by the Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman as being spoiled by rapid industrialisation, “Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough, it isn’t fit for humans now” while it also home to the fictional Wernham Hogg, the setting for the excruciating “The Office” and its chilled-out entertainer boss from hell, David Brent.

All of which serves to hide the fact that over the last 40 years Slough has quietly become Europe’s data hub, home to the largest concentration of data centres, not just in the UK, but in Europe. At the time of writing it boasts 10 data centres from seven different providers with at least another three being planned. These centres provide 10 colocation facilities, three cloud nodes, two internet exchanges and two disaster recovery and business continuity sites.

So how did Slough become the data destination of choice? The answer lies some 30 miles to the South East in London’s Docklands regeneration. During the 1980s when this redevelopment was being planned, it was recognised that the businesses who would occupy the new buildings would require remote data back-up services. Slough, with its easy rail and road access to London, was the preferred location.

From these relatively humble beginnings an industry has grown that now offers 107,000 square metres of data centre capability, and one which is estimated to grow by 21,000 square metres year over year. This represents over half of the growth for the entire United Kingdom.

And having been the butt of jokes for many, Slough’s residents and workers are having the last laugh with an unemployment rate of 1.7%, half of the UK average as of 2017.

Zayo has three fully diverse dark fibre routes from Slough to London, an ultra-low latency route directly into the London Stock Exchange and direct diverse connectivity to Europe avoiding London. Our high density fibre network provides diverse connections to all the major data centres already in Slough, and we can also provide ethernet and IP services directly out of Slough to global cloud providers and networks.

We’ll let Slough’s most (in)famous son have the last word, but if you’d like to discuss how Zayo can help you connect to Slough, please get in touch with Carl Peters.