Bogota: The Heart of Colombia and a Major Opportunity
As resource-rich Colombia transitioned from a mining- and agricultural-focused economy to a diversified, service- and manufacturing-based market-driven growth magnet in recent years, it was often easy to overlook; rather than one sector dominating the country, there was a nuanced, thorough expansion that rapidly increased incomes, particularly since the early 2000s. Many international observers would be surprised to know that Colombia now boasts nearly 50 million inhabitants, roughly one-quarter of whom live in the Bogota area, suggesting this to be an excellent start to the Colombian data center story.
Despite being the national capital and business heart of Colombia, Bogota to date offers under 40 megawatts of colocation capacity, suggesting a city that is well undervalued as a data center hub. This will likely change rapidly, as Zona Franca Bogota (the key free trade zone) received a revised statute in 2021 with specific goals of fostering e-commerce and tech-focused investment. Those looking to locate operations, whether data centers or beyond, can benefit from a lower tax rate and quicker importation and exportation.
The Power of Connectivity
While the land is plentiful for expansion in the greater area, Bogota is located well inland, roughly 1,000 kilometers from Cartagena or Barranquilla’s most critical undersea cable landing stations. Each of these cities will receive a new cable over the next three years, providing additional capacity to locations across the Caribbean. Backhaul fiber is thus of continued importance, and while the area previously lagged in fiber to the home, local telcos are planning to reach 80% fiber penetration by the end of 2023. This will assist in internet speeds and overall internet penetration; only 70% of Colombians have access to the internet regularly (whether via mobile or fixed connection), suggesting another 15 million people across the country as an untapped market for applications and services.
Benefiting from various growing enterprises and an increasingly sophisticated base of online users, Colombia and its largest city Bogota represent a stirring opportunity to join the growth story in South America. Expect continued interest throughout the market as free trade zones and scalable benefits combine into an expanding data center location.
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People per megawatt is often a reflection of how mature a data center market is, with many developed cities having less than 20,000 citizens per megawatt of capacity. Several cities across South America have over 20 times this including Bogota, suggesting a market with plenty of growth left to happen!
EdgeConneX will soon be arriving in Bogota with a site currently under construction. For questions regarding this exciting development, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.