Two Oregon telecommunications cooperatives – Canby Telephone Association and Scio Mutual Telephone Association (SMTA) – formed a partnership on December 30 of last year to buy a majority stake in the Cascade Divide Data Center in Bend, Oregon. The price and other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The data center, which was built in 2015, is 12,475 square feet and offers tier III storage, cloud and colocation and managed IT services. It supports 2.5 megawatts of power capacity and provides data backups.

The Canby Telephone Association does business as DirectLink. It connects more than 8,000 members and focuses on almost 100 square miles in the Canby and Mt. Angel communities in Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. SMTA has about 1,600 members. It was formed in 1904 and has a service area of 100 square miles in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. with the goal of sharing resources.

The sale was the result of previous Cascade owner John Warta’s desire to step back from day-to-day operations without exiting the industry. A separate joint partnership of SMTA and DirectLink called Consolidated Business Services LLC (CBS), which is headquartered in Mt. Angel, OR, will operate the data center. CBS was formed in 2013.

“The two companies are very excited to partner with John Warta and deliver the full potential for the data center,” Paul Hauer, the president of both DirectLink and CBS, said in a press release about the Oregon data center deal. “Opportunities like this do not come along often for telecommunications providers, and we intend to make the most of it for the data center partners and cooperative members of DirectLink and Scio Mutual Telephone Association.”

The data center offers connectivity to seven different fiber providers. It has a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of about 1.13 and is hydroelectrically powered.  According to Cascade Divide, it is in a low-humidity and seismically stable area.

Opportunities may be opening up for data centers located in smaller markets as edge computing becomes increasingly important. Another partnership comprised of telecom providers that invested in a data center recently is Vision Net, which acquired data center iConnect Montana last year.

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