GTA Begins Work on New DC and CLS in Guam
By Steve Limtiaco, GuamPDN.com
October 7, 2022
Guam has become a leading telecommunications hub and a new cable landing station and data center in Tamuning will provide an opportunity for even more investment here, said Paul Huntsman, president of Huntsman Family Investments, which owns GTA.
GTA on Thursday morning held a ground-breaking ceremony for its Alupang Data Center, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2024. It will be built to accommodate as many as six undersea cables.
The company earlier this year received permission from the Guam Land Use Commission to build the project on 2.5 acres of land GTA leased from the Perez family last September.
The property is along Gov. Carlos Camacho Road, between Marine Corps Drive and Farenholt Avenue, across the street from the Agana Bay Condo and Dungca’s Beach.
“It was about five years ago that our family came on island and we invested in GTA, and at that time we made the commitment that we were going to continue to invest here on the island because we saw a lot of untapped opportunity,” Huntsman said during the ceremony. “We’re going to continue to innovate and to make things more efficient, make things cleaner, make things better here on the island of Guam.”
Eleven submarine cables now land in Guam, connecting the U.S. to the Asia-Pacific region. GTA currently operates a landing station and data center in Piti and has part ownership of one of the landed cables.
Tier 3 data center
A data center is home to servers which store, transfer and provide access to digital information. Storing information closer to the end user reduces internet lag times. The Alupang facility will be a tier 3 data center, which means it will have redundant systems that allow it to be serviced without taking it offline. A tier 3 center also has multiple sources of power and cooling. According to GTA, the facility will have a power capacity of 4 megawatts.
He said GTA still is waiting for a building permit for the data center, but it already has a permit to start drilling holes for the cable ducts.
Contractors will install six underground ducts, about 141 feet deep, between the Tamuning facility and the sea. The ducts will be created using horizontal drilling and will open to the ocean floor outside the critical habitat area, more than 100 feet below the water’s surface.
Most of the submerged land off Guam’s shores belongs to the CHamoru Land Trust Commission and a law passed in August 2021 requires GTA to pay the Land Trust $100,000 for each new landed cable at the Tamuning site, plus at least $100,000 per year in lease payments for each cable.
The Land Trust will use that money to survey and build infrastructure on Land Trust property.
“Communications are very key to our livelihood,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said during the ceremony. “We have to be connected, not just locally, but nationally, regionally and worldwide. That’s how we grow.”
She said her administration plans to ensure that Guam’s children are connected, with access to wireless data.
“We cannot do all of that without broadband telecommunications data,” she said. “So all the investment that’s been done here, the bottom line is you are lifting the lives of our people.”