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November 11, 2015

Government welcomes Microsoft UK data centre investment

News: Gov't CTO Liam Maxwell details Whitehall's role in bringing major players from the data centre industry to the UK.

By Joao Lima

Following Microsoft’s announcement yesterday regarding plans to build data centres in the UK, HM Government CTO Liam Maxwell, said: "We have been trying for around three years to get both of those companies to invest in the UK.

Commenting on the news following Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella announcement at Future Decoded in London, Maxwell, said: "We have had a long series of discussions to encourage them to do so as we see the UK as a really good market, principally, if you think about it in terms of cyber hygiene and cyber health."

Maxwell said that UK is better than most countries, and it is also the best place to do business online.

He said the UK is one of the best places to land business from the US, China and Korea, and that "we have always wanted to have an effective region-scale data centre structure with the major players".

"It is going to be liberating for IT folk in the public sector, not just in central government, but all the way across. It opens up an enormous market for them, and we have been talking with them [providers] for a long time."

He said that investment from both AWS and Microsoft will benefit the whole of the public sector from having local access to cloud services.

Microsoft’s decision to open a UK cloud region came after the EU’s Safe Harbour ruling, which has stipulated that Europeans data must to remain in Europe.

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Commenting on this, Maxwell said: "We have no control over the Safe Harbour decision coming along at the same time, but we see this as a positive thing in that light, and it is helpful. It is certainly not a case that one has driven the other. This has been a long conversation."

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