Meta invests in Spain to build out the Metaverse
Meta has announced plans for significant infrastructure and people investment in Spain, as part of its plans to deliver the next phase of the internet, also known as the Metaverse.
Confirmed in an announcement on its corporate website, Javier Olivan, VP of Cross-Meta Products and Infrastructure said that the company is putting Spain at the heart of its Metaverse plans through the creation of "new, high skilled jobs, support for local entrepreneurs and tech businesses and investment in vital digital infrastructure".
Specifically, this will see the company recruit 2,000 people in Spain over the next five years; the launch of the world's first Meta Lab; development of the world’s first half petabit trans-Atlantic subsea cable; A collaboration with Telefónica to establish a Metaverse Innovation Hub in Madrid; and a new data centre in Castilla La Mancha – that is reported valued at €1 billion ($1.1bn).
Speaking on the data centre project, Emiliano García-Page, president of Castile-La Mancha, "it's not just any initiative" and that "with a stroke of the pen can be making use of all the industrial land that was left unused in Talavera". He added Meta is a "world giant of new technologies that has set its sights on Castilla-La Mancha to expand its network of data centres, adding to the two it has in Sweden and Ireland" García-Page has called for bipartisan collaboration of this project to ensure it comes to fruition.
According to site plans that have been submitted to the Castilla La Mancha development agency, the Meta Data Centre Campus will sit on a 191-hectare piece of land with the project due for completion in 2023.
Details of the half petabit trans-Atlantic subsea cable are sparse, though this project comes in addition to the company 2Africa subsea cable, the 37,000km subsea cable system that will connect Africa, the Middle East and Europe, which already lands in Spain, as well as the company's existing Marea subsea cable.
"Our investments in connectivity, including Marea, one of the highest capacity transoceanic cables in the world, will benefit other tech businesses, driving innovation and growth across the sector," wrote Olivan.
The Meta Lab will serve as a flexible base for the company's remote workers in Spain along with additional space for local tech entrepreneurs and small businesses start-ups. While the Metaverse Innovation Hub being developed with Telefónica will focus on "metaverse network and device readiness".
There is also scope for Meta to work industry, academia and government to develop "the metaverse responsibly, including around privacy, safety and diversity".
"Bringing the metaverse to life and finding new ways for Europeans to connect with each other, will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policy makers," said Olivan.