The site now known as Kao Park has long been synonymous with discovery and innovation. As far back as the 1940s it was used by Alec Reeves as the birthplace of his wartime navigation system OBOE, whilst for many years it was home to the main research laboratory of UK telecoms pioneer Standard Telephones and Cables Company.
During that period, the site also witnessed one of the most significant technological breakthroughs of the post-war era. Sir Charles Kao and George Hockham’s invention of fibre optic cable in 1966 changed the world of optical communications forever and paved the way for a host of modern innovation, including broadband Internet. This discovery was so significant that Sir Charles Kao was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2009.
Following the acquisition of Standard Telephones and Cables Company in 1991,the site became part of Bell Northern Research, the primary science and technology hub for industry giant Northern Telecom (later known as Nortel). It remained under their ownership until the company was broken up and sold in 2009. The site was then acquired by new investors with the purpose of establishing a new data centre to serve the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor.
Today, Kao Data are determined to continue that pioneering legacy, right down to the immortalisation of Sir Charles Kao’s incredible achievements in the new campus name. This, combined with Kao Data’s state-of-the-art business park located adjacent, is already attracting some of the world’s foremost science and technology innovators.
As a result, Kao Data’s position as the UK’s home of pioneering information communication activities is assured for many years to come.