Facebook’s giant new server hall in Sweden’s northern town of Luleå opened Wednesday, with representatives from the social network and the Swedish government addressing media from several countries.
The server center in Luleå is Facebook’s first to open outside of the U.S., and will handle information from the social networking site’s 350 million users in Europe.
The server facilities, which will benefit from Luleå’s arctic climate, are about the size of 11 or 12 hockey rinks lined up one after another.
When the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg first visited the town and uploaded a photo of it, he got half a million "likes" in minutes and helped to crash some of the city’s Internet servers as people around the world rushed to find out the location of Luleå.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Marita Ljung from the Swedish government’s department of industry, said she was proud of what Sweden can offer and that Facebook had chosen Luleå.
Facebook received over SEK $100 million in Swedish state financial support to build the data center.
This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.