Network changes by TWC reaches North Carolina before Google Fiber rolls out
Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina on Time Warner Cable (TWC) will soon enjoy improved Internet speeds, as the company rolls out changes to its network in the area. Last week's announcement is notable in that Google previously announced it would be rolling out Google Fiber in Charlotte, and TWC's changes could be a pre-emptive move to keep its customers from jumping ship.
Google presence in the area already, company reportedly seeking workers
According to "industry sources," Google's next fiber construction is slated for both the Research Triangle in Raleigh-Durham and the Charlotte area in North Carolina. Google has sent out invititations to press in the area for Wednesday and Thursday for an unspecified event, which has been pegged as the official announcement of the project. The high-speed fiber-optic network is in Kansas City now, and is expanding into Provo, Utah, and somewhat problematically, into Austin, Texas.
Comments opened after organizations in Tennessee, North Carolina petitioned agency
After receiving petitions from the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, Tennessee and the City of Wilson in North Carolina, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is opening comments on the subject of preempting state laws. Based on Chairman Tom Wheeler's previous comments on municipal broadband, the FCC would get involved in the battle if it meant better serving consumers.
A smash-and-grab robbery took place at the Southpoint Apple Store in Durham, North Carolina on Monday night, a report notes. The thieves smashed their way in via one of the store's glass panels, then proceeded to take an unknown number of MacBooks on display. The outlet has been closed on Tuesday as a result.
Will cost company $55 million
North Carolina's Claremont City Council has approved an Apple plan to acquire 100 acres of land for a third solar farm in the state, reports say. The farm is expected to generate 17.5 megawatts, and cost Apple $55 million to build. The 100 acres will become a part of Claremont's corporate limits; the project should spawn about 75 jobs, but take about five years to complete.
AT&T deploys LTE network in 13 more cities
AT&T has continued its ongoing LTE deployment, bringing the 4G service to 14 new markets across the US. The expansion includes Fairbanks Metropolitan Area, Arkansas; Galesburg, Macomb and Peoria, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Maysville and Madisonville, Kentucky; Cumberland, Maryland; St. Cloud, Minnesota; St. Joseph, Missouri; Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Big Spring, Texas and Winchester, Virginia.
Nudges people into exploiting holidays at online Apple store
In new web and email promotions, Apple is pushing people to take advantage of upcoming US tax holidays via its online store. Ten states are holding holidays, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Of these, Florida is the lone addition in 2013.
Company still working toward goal of complete renewable energy use
Apple's datacenters are now fully supplied by renewable energy, the company has announced on its website. The company is relying mostly on a mix of solar, wind, and geothermal energy. At a facility in Maiden, North Carolina, it is also relying on fuel cells that convert biogas; the main source of energy though is a 100-acre solar farm, which became fully operational in December. The company says it has met a goal of producing 60 percent of the center's energy on-site.
East Carolina University claims trademark infringed by Cisco
Cisco is being sued for trademark infringement over one of its marketing campaigns. East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina has announced the start of legal proceedings in a federal court, over the use of the slogan 'Tomorrow Starts Here' in a Cisco campaign shown on television, print publications, augmented reality, and also online.
Will own the largest non-power company fuel cell installation
According to paperwork filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission, Apple intends to double the size of the Catawba County fuel cell project on the site of the Apple's data center in Maiden, NC. The move to 10 megawatts of power production will make it the largest installation of fuel cell technology not run by an electric utility. A total of fuel cells on the property are expected to be brought on line by January.
Almost 220 acres for new solar farm
Apple is planning to expand its North Carolina datacenter yet again, and has paid for $3 million in additional land near Conover, according to the Hickory Daily Record. The purchase includes a base 218.885 acres plus another 0.251, all expected to support a new solar farm. The information stems from records at the Catawba County Register of Deeds.
Images include 'tactical' center, solar farm, possible biogas site
New aerial photos obtained by Wired reveal some of Apple's recent progress on expanding its North Carolina datacenter. Immediately next to the main facility -- which handles iCloud and iTunes traffic -- is Apple's so-called "tactical" datacenter, which provides some unknown support functions. Across the road is a 100-acre solar farm, still under construction, which should eventually generate 20MW of power. Also seen in photos is a power substation, and small plot which may be where Apple intends to put its 4.8MW biogas facility.
Facility to have two solar arrays, fuel cell farm
Apple's large-scale datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina will run entirely on renewable energy by the end of the year, the company has announced. Currently Apple is in the middle of buying equipment from Bloom Energy and SunPower Corp. to build not one but two solar arrays in the Maiden area; previously, only one was known to be in development. Once the equipment is in place, it should generate 84 million kWh of energy per year. Apple's fuel cell farm should be finished later in 2012.
Google, Facebook named among better firms
Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are among companies Greenpeace is criticizing in a new report on sourcing clean power for datacenters. The activist organization has rated a little over a dozen Internet-based companies on factors like their consideration of clean power when picking a location, their advocacy for the idea, and how transparent their clean power strategy is. Apple and Amazon have each been given Fs for their location choices; some examples are Apple's datacenter in North Carolina, and Amazon's presence in Northern Virginia, both of which are said to be dependent on a mix of coal and nuclear power.
Construction already under way on Oregon site
Apple is advertising a new job listing which could be connected to a new data center in Prineville, Oregon, Wired reports. The company is hiring a data center construction project manager, who will nominally be based out of Cupertino, California, but have to travel to a project site. "As Apple’s new products and services expand and grow, so too does the need for more servers and server space to house them, Data Centers," the listing reads. "The candidate selected for this position will become an important part of the Apple team responsible for the design and construction implementation of the next generation of data centers.
Could be promised second facility
Renewed construction has begun at Apple's datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, according to local reports. While the main facility has been running for many months, primarily handling iCloud traffic, the Hickory Daily Record notes that part of the site's berm has been demolished for extra construction. A company contracted by Apple, Holder Construction, has also obtained an erosion control permit for over 34 acres at the datacenter, related to "grading for [a] new building."
Solar farm will help power North Carolina facility
A San Jose company, SunPower, has won the contract to build solar panels for the company's North Carolina datacenter, a filing with the state's Utilities Commission reveals. "Each of the photovoltaic installations will consist of multiple SunPower E20 435-watt photovoltaic modules on ground-mounted single axis tracking systems," the document reads. The solar farm is being built in phases, and could be ready to supply power in October.
Few alternatives said to exist
Bloom Energy is responsible for supplying the hardware behind Apple's upcoming 5MW fuel cell farm, two GigaOM sources claim. The company may already have some Bloom cells at its Cupertino headquarters. The 5MW farm will support Apple's datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, helping the building to use cleaner, off-the-grid power in association with a solar array.
Array among largest in US, Apple claims
Apple is promoting a forthcoming solar array at its Maiden, North Carolina datacenter as a part of its newly-released 2012 environmental report. The company claims that when it is finished, the facility will be the largest end-user-owned solar array in the US, generating 42 million kWh of power. It also says it has won LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council.
May create massive barrier to competition
Apple has already sunk at least $750 million into its North Carolina datacenter, Asymco's Horace Dediu observes. The information comes from Property, Plant and Equipment information in the company's quarterly statements. Roughly $1 billion was spent on that category between December 26th 2009 and December 25th 2010; the $750 million figure comes from deducting an estimated $250 million dedicated to the future "spaceship" campus.
Retail rush continues
Apple will once again open a round of new retail stores this weekend, says ifoAppleStore. Of the three opening this Saturday, the most important may be the Promenade at Chenal location in Little Rock, Arkansas. The state has never before had an Apple Store, even though Apple was listed as a forthcoming tenant at the Promenade as far back as 2007, before the mall's 2008 opening. Apple has at least a token presence in 44 US states; gaps are still present in Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, West Virginia and both Dakotas.
Americana outlet an unusual experiment
Apple will finally open its Americana retail store this Saturday at 10AM Pacific time, the company's website reveals. The outlet is notable mainly because of its location in Glendale, California, just 600 feet from another Apple Store in the Glendale Galleria. The distance represents the smallest gap between Apple Stores anywhere in the world, but may be necessary since the Galleria location -- Apple's second ever built -- is reportedly full of visitors at all hours.
Suspect flees without taking any goods
The Greensboro Apple Store in North Carolina is closed today following an early-morning robbery attempt, according to local media. A call to police was made at about 4:43AM, after a dark gray Honda intentionally plowed through the store's glass facade. Photos (below) show a cracked glass panel thrown to the floor and scattered debris.
Company pushed Google to conceal NC facility?
Crews have already begun putting up WWDC decorations at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, photos show. A team began applying company logos to the building's exterior yesterday, in keeping with normal Apple plans. Moscone staff are also likely raising banners and setting up other material inside, but these were not immediately visible. WWDC 2011 is only set to begin on Monday, June 6th, leading off with a Steve Jobs keynote.
Charlotte outlet brief drive from Apple datacenter
Apple has set its sights on another two retail stores, this time in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Burnaby in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The Charlotte store will be the city's second, and open on the second floor of the Northlake Mall. Building permits have been issued and job listings are now being posted, effectively confirming plans. Charlotte is, notably, just 30 miles away from Apple's massive North Carolina datacenter, which was built to support iCloud.
NC center could 'triple' Apple power consumption
As part of a report (PDF) rating several high-tech companies, Greenpeace has made public a critical stance of Apple's cloud-based environmental impact. The "clean energy index" rating for Apple's data services is just 6.7 percent, versus the likes of 21 percent for Twitter, 36.4 percent for Google and 55.9 percent for Yahoo. Apple was also given a "coal intensity" rating of 54.5 percent, in theory making it the most intense polluter among the group because of relatively high power consumption versus its coal power dependence.
Apple becoming 'differentiated services' company?
Based on a talk with Apple executives, Apple's North Carolina data center should finally come online this spring, says Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. The facility was originally scheduled to come online by the end of 2010, but was delayed for unknown reasons. Apple executives later claimed a new spring target, but until now there had been no subsequent update on progress.
Start of operations delayed?
Apple is likely employing specialized hardware at its newest data center, a third-party announcement suggests. While refusing to name their client directly, two firms -- Instor and Electrorack -- say they have finished a project involving custom enclosures at a large data center in North Carolina. Apple only recently established a facility in the vicinity of Maiden in Catawba County.
Impact on new center uncertain
The director of Apple's data center team, Olivier Sanche, died of a heart attack last Thursday, news has emerged. Prior to his last job, Sanche is said to have worked on streamlining operations at several major technology companies like AT&T and eBay, with a particular emphasis on energy efficiency. The move to Apple came in August 2009, and led to Sanche preparing the company's new North Carolina data center.
Company leaving room to grow?
Apple owns an extra 70 acres across the street from its new data center finishing construction in Maiden, North Carolina, according to data from Catawba County's Geospatial Information Services. The main facility, measuring some 500,000 square feet, sits on a 183-acre plot. People in Maiden are reportedly speculating that the 70-acre area will simply be used for office space, but the land may also back claims that Apple is planning to grow the data center's size, perhaps even beyond a rumored doubled amount.
Two buildings needed to hit 500,000 sqft.?
The rumored expansion of Apple's North Carolina data center may have been planned the entire time, photos from a Catawba County Flickr feed suggest. Dating back to July 2009, an architectural rendering related to the data center shows not one but two buildings. The positioning of the second building is consistent with a construction site spotted in a recent aerial recon flight.
Construction could back expansion rumors
Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina should begin operating "any day now," local officials are quoted as saying. Although no specific start date has been revealed, production is believed to be ramping up. A local realtor, Bill Wagenseller, has moreover done a second aerial recon of the facility (see below), showing evidence of construction that may back rumors of further expansion.
Current facility already abnormally massive
Apple is already considering doubling the size of its North Carolina data center, sources tell All Things Digital. The facility -- which has yet to begin normal operations -- currently measures 500,000 square feet, unusually large by Apple standards. Another Apple data center in Newark, California is roughly a fifth the size.
Costs offset by government concessions
Apple paid a couple $1.7 million in order to secure just one more acre of land for its North Carolina data center, according to Bloomberg. Donnie and Kathy Fulbright originally paid $6,000 for the acre, which they occupied for more than 30 years. It took several offers from Apple before the Fulbrights could be persuaded to leave. "They told us to put a price on it and we did," says Kathy. The couple ultimately used the money to buy a 49-acre plot, a new house and a jacuzzi.
10 new jobs become available
Apple is opening up hiring for its new North Carolina data center, job listings show. Ten positions have become available at the Maiden-based facility, where previously the only work listed was for a chief operating engineer, who remains unhired. The new staff should include four maintenance technicians, two site services technicians, a site services manager, a site coordinator, a mechanical technician and an electrical technician.
Facility built upon 225 acres of land
An aerial video, captured from a helicopter, allegedly shows Apple's new data-center located on 225 acres of land in Maiden, North Carolina. The enormous building is said to cover 500,000 square feet of floor space, over four times the area available in the company's server farm in Newark, California. The project is said to have cost over $1 billion.
Devices meant to teach math, reading
The Pamlico County Board of Education in North Carolina is making a unusual Apple hardware buy, writes the New Bern Sun Journal. The government body is purchasing 131 iPod touches, using money from a $1.25 million grant combining funds from Enhancing Education Though Technology and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act programs. The devices are intended for students in the county's primary schools, who will use them for math and reading.
Sprint expanding 4G range
Sprint on Tuesday announced plans to expand its 4G WiMAX service to 17 additional cities in Hawaii, Idaho, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington. The carrier claims mobile broadband speeds reaching 10 Mb/s while downloading or between 3-6 Mb/s for uploads. The 4G service is said to exceed 3G speeds by a factor of three to five.
NC server farm worth $2B?
Apple's North Carolina server farm could ultimately become worth $2 billion, twice the company's minimum investment, claims a member of the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation. In exchange for tax breaks, Apple has agreed to build a $1 billion facility at the Catawba Data Park in Maiden. The building will occupy 500,000 square feet, and provide approximately 750 construction jobs running into late 2010.
Apple settles on NC site
Apple has at last chosen a location for a North Carolina server farm, reports say. Though the company confirmed intentions for an iDataCenter on June 3rd, with plans to invest $1 billion in the state over the course of nine years, it has not so far announced a specific location. Representatives for the town of Maiden, however, have scheduled a July 6th press conference, in which they are expected to formally acknowledge a deal with Apple.
NC approves Apple handout
The General Assembly of North Carolina has approved a new tax bill specifically geared towards attracting an Apple server farm, the Associated Press writes. The bill was approved by the state Senate on Monday night with a 40-to-8 vote, leaving only a signature from Gov. Beverly Perdue in the way of transformation into law. The final debate is reported to have lasted less than a minute, with Republican Senator Tom Apodaca noting that the state has been focusing too heavily on attracting large corporations, at the expense of small businesses.
Catawba, NC data center
It is "all but a done deal" that Apple will build its North Carolina server farm in Catawba County, state officials are said to have confessed. The word has allegedly been passed on to the backers of a site in Cleveland County, typically thought of as Catawba's only major competition. Both counties are some of the poorest in the state, making them suitable for the conditions of a corporate welfare bill directed at Apple. After some delay, the bill is expected to be given a final vote Monday night.
N. Carolina votes Apple
The state House of North Carolina has voted 81 to 31 for a bill handing out tax breaks to Apple, the Associated Press writes. Although the results are only preliminary, they may suggest the outcome of the final vote, scheduled to be held before Wednesday's end. If successful, the bill will divert $46 million of taxpayers' money towards a 10-year break for Apple.
North Carolina server farm
North Carolina may be willing to provide special tax favors for Apple, should the company decide to build a server farm in the state, writes the Charlotte Observer. A state official cited by the paper says that a new bill, nearing approval, would offer breaks to corporations with a minority marketshare in the region but large quantities of property and workers. The bill is said to be explicitly aimed at luring the proposed Apple server farm, which could in theory save the company $46 million over the course of 10 years.
Greensboro on Feb. 21
Apple's retail shop in Greensboro, North Carolina will open on February 21st, barring complications, a marketing assistant for the Friendly Center shopping complex is said to inform. The store will be located between Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie on Avondale, and should not only be the first Apple Store in Greensboro, but the largest to date in North Carolina. The outlet has experienced a number of setbacks on the way to completion.
Early 2009 store plans
Apple has already begun its retail store expansion plans for 2009, with photos emerging of construction in Greensboro, NC, along with a building approval for a long-awaited Georgetown location and several international locations, including Brighton in the UK, and Ottawa, Canada. A tipster who observed workers building the Greensboro store notes that the workers were standing on what appeared to be a palette with a railing made from 2x4s.
First German Apple Store
Apple's first German retail store is due to open this week, the company has announced. The shop is situated at 1 Rosenstraße in Munich, and will throw open its doors at 10AM local time this Saturday, December 6th. Visitors will of course be able to test Macs, iPods and iPhones; as an incentive to arrive early, the first 2,500 people to come will be given a free Apple t-shirt. Although the store should be closed on Sundays, regular hours are slated to be a consistent 9AM to 8PM Monday through Saturday.