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Montana is ideal place to store data, says iConnect executive Andy York

November 11, 2012View for printing

"We have fairly low-cost power, no sales tax and we're in a 100-year flood plain," he said. "You mix it all up in this neat little soup and we win."

Billings is getting a taste of new business from the global computing revolution, but evidence of one new industry is largely invisible, hidden behind 2,000-pound rocks, an army of security cameras, biometric fingerprinting and a "man trap" turnstile.

This data center industry is NorthWestern Energy's best friend, according to Andy York, chief executive at iConnect Montana , which runs data centers at Granite Towers in downtown Billings and another opened three years ago in a former grocery store at the corner of Central Avenue and Moore Lane.

"Oh, they just love me," he said. "The Central data center racks up power bills of $18,000 per month."


Big Sky Country's data advantage

Montana has several advantages in hosting data centers:

Cold weather for half the year, which reduces power bills needed to cool and protect the expensive and sensitive electronic equipment.

Located along fiber-optic backbones running from Chicago to Seattle and from Calgary to Denver.

Relatively low electricity rates.

A geophysical environment relatively safe from floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.

No statewide sales tax.

iConnect Montana

P.O. Box 1656

Billings, MT 59103-1656

Phone: 406-294-5008

Fax: 877-308-0578


By Jan Falstad

Full Story: ... 1797bb.html


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