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Brexit not stopping Amazon from opening UK data centre in 2017

News: AWS hub expected to open early next year despite much talk around Brexit and its impact on the nation’s tech industry.


Amazon’s cloud division arm AWS will next year see its data centre portfolio being expanded as the company said it remains "committed" to build a third European facility in London.

Speaking at a customer conference in Frankfurt, Stephen Orban, head of enterprise strategy at AWS, said the company is seeing steady demand for cloud services in Europe and that the London hub will go ahead as planned.

He said: "Demand for all our services is growing across all Europe. For us it is business as usual."

On Thursday, June 23, 52% of UK voters voted in favour of leaving the European Union instigating a long and complicated divorce from the intracontinental body after 43 years of union.

Orban said: "We are watching the situation but I cannot speculate how everything is going to unfold."

However, he said that the company will give local customers the ability to choose where they want to store their data. Be it in the UK, Ireland or Germany.

The UK data centre will come online either later this year or in early 2017, Orban said.

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He also confirmed that AWS is discussing data protection with the EU’s Article 29 working group, which focus on data protection.

The EU is set to launch its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 across the 28 member states part of the block.

However, since the UK voted to leave the union, uncertainty on whether the regulation will be adopted in the country or not.

Speaking at the same customer conference, one of AWS’ biggest customers, Infor, said Brexit is making them reconsider previous UK ambitions.

Charles Phillips, CEO at Infor, said: "We were considering using the UK one, mostly for UK customers.

"It is less likely given what is going on. I do not want to rush in there and then have customers tell us to do something different.

"Most of our customers we know are ok with Ireland. We do not know if they are ok with the UK."

The London data centre will be AWS’ third European hub following Dublin and Frankfurt. The company also has 16 edge facilities across the EU, including three in London.

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