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Spark Announces $15 Million Digital Infrastructure Investment In The Waikato

Spark today announced plans to invest more than $15 million into digital infrastructure in the Waikato to support access to high quality cloud and connectivity services in the region.

To enable Waikato businesses to access modern and local cloud services, Spark is partnering with the University of Waikato to take over the management of its existing data centre facility on the University campus and make significant further investment to upgrade and grow capacity and operate the site as a key edge data centre* for Spark and its business customers.

To support further growth within the data centre, Spark is also investing in a new, modern fibre backbone from Otorohonga to Te Kauwhata, serving the fast-growing Hamilton East and Ruakura area, significantly enhancing connectivity to the data centre facility, and improving resilience.

The partnership will also see the University become an anchor customer of Spark’s at the on-campus data centre.

Mark Beder, Spark Customer Director for Enterprise and Government says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Waikato to build data centre capacity and enhance connectivity and resilience in the region. We have a clear strategy at Spark to invest in data centre capacity for New Zealand, and building a network of regional data centres is an important part of these plans. As we continue to experience an exponential growth in data, ongoing migration to the cloud, and embrace new technologies like generative AI, access to high quality, resilient computing infrastructure such as cloud services located in data centres is critical to the competitiveness of New Zealand and our regions.”

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Eion Hall, University of Waikato Chief Information Officer says, “As the University modernises our IT and cloud infrastructure, we are excited to partner with Spark, as they will significantly invest in new infrastructure on our campus, putting the University at the heart of cloud growth in the Waikato. Spark will be a key partner to the University, providing diverse services at the new Waikato data centre. This partnership also enables us to focus on our technology strategy, and utilising Spark’s capabilities as a leading data centre operator, strategically supporting our business application and ICT infrastructure projects.”

Spark’s data centre strategy includes plans to develop three large-scale data centre campuses in Auckland’s North Shore, CBD (Aotea), and South (Takanini), while continuing to invest in its metro sites in Wellington and Christchurch and retaining edge data centre facilities in regional centres such as Hamilton, Tauranga, and Dunedin. This portfolio diversity enables Spark to meet a wide range of customer needs.

*An edge data centre is located closer to where the data is being used, reducing the time it takes for data to travel back and forth. This enables faster access and better performance for various applications and services. Spark’s strategy is to operate large data centres in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, alongside high-quality edge sites in regional cities such as Hamilton, Tauranga, and Dunedin. 

Note: Spark and the University of Waikato have also worked with the Research Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ) to ensure data centre sites at the University of Waikato and Spark’s Takanini data centre facility in Auckland are connected to New Zealand’s national research, science and education digital network, which seamlessly connects with more than 120 networks globally to enable researchers to collaborate.

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