$120M Data Center Opens in Auburn to Expand Access to Fiber Networks

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Congressman Mike Rogers and other officials attended the grand opening of the $120 million AUBix data center in Auburn today.

The 40,000-square-foot center near the Auburn University campus will provide private and public organizations with safer and more efficient access to fiber networks and more content for consumers, AUBix co-founder and CEO Andrew Albrecht said at today’s event, commenting. of Ivey, Rogers, the mayor of Auburn, Ron Anders, and the president of Auburn University, Jay Gogue.

Albrecht said AUBix would serve companies in the healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and other sectors, as well as academia and state and local governments.

“We enable service providers and business organizations to place their equipment within these walls in a secure facility that is connected to multiple national and global networks,” said Albrecht. “The shared cost infrastructure of the facility you see behind us provides exceptional value not offered to an individual company on a standalone basis.”

Albrecht said today’s grand opening comes two years after he and others first sat down to develop a business plan. Albrecht accompanied Ivey and other officials on a tour of the facility, which he said has about 10 customers on board and more to follow soon. He explained what he believes would be the benefits for those companies and government agencies contracting to use the AUBix facility and services.

“They are in a physically safe and logically secured building, which means cybersecurity,” Albrecht said. “Now they have access to more global networks right on their backbone. Instead of getting a line to their office, they are literally sitting on a fiberglass backbone. Analogous to sitting on a well, if you will. You can draw as much as you want on that spine. And in general it is lower cost and higher quality.”

Ivey said the AUBix project, first announced in August 2021, would be an economic catalyst.

“We’ve talked so many times about the need for broadband and to increase access in Alabama, and we’re all doing that,” the governor said. “In fact, this is what this center will bring. More reliable fiber services here in Auburn and across our state.”

Gogue said Auburn University plans to use AUBix to meet federal cybersecurity requirements.

“Auburn does about $200 million a year in federal contracts, not counting the grants we receive, but only in federal contracts,” Gogue said. “There is a new federal requirement, a few years old, that has to do with data security. And for us to collaborate and link to do a better job and grow our research, especially in the contract field, it’s absolutely critical to us. So I just want to say that we look forward to a great collaboration.”

Brasfield & Gorrie was the general contractor for the AUBix center, which is located on six acres on Samford Avenue. The building’s structure and veneer are precast concrete, designed to withstand Category 4 winds to 250 mph.

Albrecht said the state has not paid any incentive to develop the project. He said AUBix customers will benefit from a partial cut in equipment sales taxes, an incentive approved by the legislature to encourage companies to develop digital infrastructure in Alabama with private capital.

Albrecht said it takes three factors for technology to thrive.

“One is a high quality of life, generally low taxes and good public schools,” Albrecht said. “Second, you need access to well-trained staff. We have that here and the entire I-85 corridor. It’s not just about Auburn.

“And finally, you need connectivity. And that’s where a data center can pull those networks that otherwise pass and don’t stop, like a highway with no exit. Now the exit is AUBix.”

Mike Durant, a US Senate candidate in Alabama, was also in attendance at today’s event.

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