Curacao Server Home Targets I-Gaming

28 September 2001
A new, cutting-edge facility is hoping to make an impact with Internet gambling companies while changing the way server farms are operated.

The E-Commerce Park project is scheduled to open for business on Nov. 1, and will start letting its tenants move in in a matter of weeks.

The new facility is located on the Caribbean island of Curacao, which is part of the Netherlands Antilles, and it is hoping to lure operators from other offshore locations where bandwidth and dependable technology can sometimes be hard to find.

In addition to providing top-of-the-line bandwidth, and what it claims is a world-class backbone, E-Commerce Park offers a range of amenities and incentives to prospective customers, said the park's managing director, Rob Vermeulen.

"The fact that E-Commerce Park not only provides for first class co-location and bandwidth services, but also provides for office space, E-Zone status and 2 percent profit tax for 25 years separates us from other places," he said.

The facility also makes available every thing from landscaping and cleaning to call centers and multimedia services. This allows operators to focus on making their businesses the best they can be, Vermeulen said.

"It basically allows the online entrepreneur to concentrate on marketing and content," he said. "It takes away the need to be an all-round Caribbean entrepreneur and jack-of-all-trades."

The world economy may indicate that now is not the most appropriate time to be opening a multimillion-dollar facility that relies on e-commerce companies to fill its office suites, but Vermeulen said steps have already been made to make sure the park is a success.

Initial plans called for the facility to encompass 130,000 sq. feet of office space. Those plans were scaled back this summer when over-valued technology stocks were corrected in the markets.

"We decided to adapt the plans to more moderate size, recognizing the immediate need of the industry for superior housing solutions," he said.

The new facility is scheduled to open with 27,000 sq. feet of office space--a far cry from the original plans, but Vermeulen is looking at quality, not quantity. The new park will have 2,000 sq. feet of space designated for hosting and co-location purposes and a network operations center.

Located just north of the Venezuela cost, the facility is ideally situated for gaming operators that want to target both the United States and Latin America for their player bases, Vermeulen said.

"The location gives us stability and recognizable jurisdiction," Vermeulen said. "The legal system is subject to the Dutch High Court."

Although the facility isn't designed to be a gaming-only operation, Vermeulen said response from online gaming operators has been very good.

"The online gaming community has been very enthusiastic," he said. "They recognize the tailor-made answers to their perceived demands."

Being located in the Netherlands Antilles will give operators in E-Commerce Park a slew of positive offerings they have been searching for for years.

"Curacao for a long time has been in the top qualifiers for choice of venue, with a stable government and developed infrastructure," Vermeulen said. "But until recently it was not able to cater to the online market, due to restricted and expensive bandwidth options."

Now that bandwidth options have been decreased, as low as $6,250/2Mb according to Vermeulen, gaming companies have expressed interest.

"All big names in the online industry have contacted and/or contracted E-Commerce Park for information," he said. Vermeulen said the bandwidth price is the lowest of any gaming jurisdiction.

Space in the facility is already filling up for those companies looking for spots to place their servers and other technological units. Vermeulen said the first phase allows for 120 19-inch cabinets of co-location area and 27 sq. feet of office space. Sixty percent of the office space is already taken and 15 percent of the co-location area has been contracted out.