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Google has officially opened its very first cloud region in Spain, nearly two years after first announcing plans to partner with Spanish telecom giant Telefónica.

The new region represents Google’s 33rd such location globally and promises low-latency data transfers and cloud services for businesses in the locale. The internet giant is also currently developing additional cloud regions for Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, among other locations.

Today’s news comes as Spain pushes on in its post-pandemic economic recovery, with Google arguing that a dedicated local cloud region will play a big part in the process.

“The new Madrid region offers Google Cloud’s unique global infrastructure locally, creating new opportunities for digital transformation across every industry and making it easier for organizations at any stage of their cloud journey to securely deliver faster, more reliable customer experiences,” the company wrote in a blog post.

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Data sovereignty

As one of the world’s largest telecom network providers, Telefónica represents a notable partner for Google as it looks to ingratiate itself to companies and policymakers across Spain by addressing concerns over digital autonomy and data sovereignty. Businesses need to adhere to local rules and regulations in terms of how they manage and store customer data. Indeed, the new Madrid region will lean on Telefónica’s existing infrastructure, while the duo will jointly develop a range of products using Google’s edge computing platform.

This also builds on similar local partnerships that Google has entered elsewhere in Europe, including one with T-Systems in Germany.

“Accelerating digital transformation also requires cloud services that meet regulatory compliance and digital governance requirements,” Google wrote. “In particular, highly regulated sectors like government, healthcare and financial services need additional controls to store data and run workloads locally.”

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