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Aussie edge data centre provider receives $20m in funding

Leading Edge Data Centres has received a $20 million cash injection from Washington H. Soul Pattinson which will be used to fund growth of its regional data centre network in Australia.

As Australia’s first dedicated edge data centre network provider, Leading Edge DC connects all of its Data Centre Hubs to provide faster internet speeds and direct cloud access for regional areas.

In addition to receiving funding from Washington H. Soul Pattinson, Leading Edge DC received investment as part of SparkLabs Cultiv8 2020 accelerator group, the Asia Pacific acceleration program based out of regional NSW.

The funding will be used to enable a national rollout, which will see more than 20 world-class Tier 3 data centres built across regional Australia to provide faster internet speeds and direct cloud connectivity for regional areas.

The company is currently in pre-commitment phase for its Newcastle and Tamworth sites in New South Wales. The rollout will start with 75-Rack Edge Hubs across NSW, with Newcastle and Tamworth sites expected to be ready towards the end of the year.

Albury, Wagga Wagga, Parkes, Dubbo, and Coffs Harbour are to be live by May 2021.

The strategic real estate acquisition is well underway in parallel across NSW and other states to deliver a connected national DC platform, the company states.

Leading Edge DC CEO and founder Chris Thorpe says, “Our modular world-class Tier 3 data centre design is also exciting.

“The data centre is prefabricated and built locally offsite, in Newcastle NSW with footprints that scale in 30 or 75 rack configurations. Within weeks we can be present in new locations with a world-class Tier 3 data centre, designed for Australian conditions, capable of scaling as required.”

He says, “Our edge network, powered by partnerships with strategic real estate, diverse network connectivity, and cloud-ready services, delivers competitive solutions for customers requiring a smarter network.”

Washington H. Soul Pattinson managing director Todd Barlow says, “We are excited to partner with Leading Edge DC and support their mission to power the digital economy of regional Australia.

“The recent Covid-19 crisis has further highlighted that Regional Australia has a great need for digital infrastructure to improve connectivity for remote and rural areas. It’s fantastic to see an Australian start-up with years of combined experience in this space initiating a solution that will fill this huge gap.”

On the funding Thorpe says, “To have the backing of Washington H. Soul Pattinson strongly affirms our mission. We’re proud to be early movers in the Australian market, with significant investment in real estate options already secured. The structure of the Internet and enterprise computing resources is changing.

"We’re ready to help enterprises attain a new level of network connectivity density and deliver seamless digital experiences to their customers - no matter where they are located.”

Leading Edge DC states there is increasing demand for edge data centres. According to the company, Australia has begun to move toward decentralisation of IT and taking compute power to where the user resides.

Even so, investment in content delivery networks suited for streaming and gaming platforms centred in and around capital cities.

The demand to deliver seamless digital experiences, driven by real-time data requirements and the growth of streaming competitors, placed strain on these traditional models, Leading Edge DC states.

In comparison, edge data centres enable faster compute by locally hosting the applications; whether for content hosting and distribution, IoT data processing, digital mapping, AgTech, autonomous machinery, telehealth, or telecommunications.

This can help to take the load out of the existing backhaul networks. They also provide the ability to reduce network latency for internet intensive activities like remote working, teleconferencing and home education.