Land and Data: Rent, Value, and the Data Center REIT

Authors: Dillon Mahmoudi*, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, Taylor Hafley, University of Georgia
Topics: Digital Geographies, Economic Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: data, data center, reit, rent, rent gap
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 38
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The roll-out of 5G accelerates the accessibility of data storage and computing power of data centers to users across the world. Industry experts predict that half of all data centers servers will be run by the largest six cloud computing providers. This paper explores the rapid financialization of a growing class of data center-based REITs which compete and cooperate with the large hyperscale cloud computing providers. In doing so, this paper connects with notions of rentier capitalism and platform urbanism, excavating the intersections of land rent on which the data centers operate and the data/computation rent collected on the storage and computation of digital data.

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