Blog Posts

Chicagoland's Advantages for Building a Quantum Network

Years ago, technology was primarily born out of select pockets like Silicon Valley, Boston and Seattle. In recent years, however, technological advancements have emerged from every corner of the globe as we have become more cloud-based and wirelessly connected. In many ways, location and technological evolution are now mutually exclusive.

Quantum technology has the potential to be the most significant advancement of this century, and its advancement may lie in America’s Heartland. The Chicagoland region (metropolitan, suburban Chicago and northwest Indiana) has a unique blend of factors—from natural resources to infrastructure to economic advantages—that creates a fertile landscape for the development of quantum networks and the facilities needed to make them effective.

The Great Lakes: Ample Resources on Solid Ground

Quantum computers and data centers require two critical resources to run efficiently: power and water. The Great Lakes and surrounding region have ample amounts of both.

Abundance of Energy
The Great Lakes and Chicagoland region is an energy-rich corner of the U.S., with a variety of power sources. From natural gas to nuclear to wind, Chicagoland has numerous energy resources nearby, creating inexpensive and clean options to feed power-hungry data centers.

Cooling Systems
The waters and wind provided by Lake Michigan is a vital asset to the function of data centers and the uninterrupted operation of quantum computers.The vast amount of energy needed to run these facilities and the technology within creates enormous amounts of heat. The proximity to the country’s third-largest freshwater source creates easy access to water that can be pumped directly into data centers for cooling or used in heat exchangers.

Lack of Seismic Activity
Quantum technology—particularly quantum networks outside of lab settings—require as little vibration as possible to avoid disrupting transmissions across ultra-sensitive lines of fiber. Chicagoland’s location away from fault lines and seismic activity make it an ideal location for long-distance transmissions with minimal risk of disruption.

Sound Infrastructure, Friendly Economics
Few locations in the U.S. offer the cross-section of existing infrastructure assets and friendly economic policies as the greater Chicagoland region, which pave the way for quantum technology expansion in both the public and private sectors.

An Abundant Fiber-Optic Network
Major interstates and traversing railway systems crisscross the region, and beneath these thoroughfares is a vast fiber-optic network capable of supporting long-distance quantum transmission. Specifically, the Indiana Toll Road spans the northernmost part of the state, linking the Illinois border to Ohio. The region’s railroad system has similar dark fiber. This valuable resource can be utilized by networks like Quantum Corridor to link customers across the interstate network.

Favorable Tax Incentives
Many states in the region, including Indiana, offer tax advantages to incentivize business, including low rates, tax rebates and sales tax advantages. These incentives come in a state where the cost of living is far lower than the national average, making the region appealing for businesses looking to relocate to establish a presence.

Plentiful Data Center Space
This unique combination of resources, financial benefits and favorable conditions make the Chicagoland region an attractive destination for data centers, particularly those with future quantum capabilities. With plenty of space, relatively inexpensive real estate costs and below-average energy costs, it is clear why Illinois finds itself ranked in the top-five among U.S. states in total data center count. Indiana is in the top half.

Proximity to the Chicago Superhub
At the center of the region’s potential in the quantum space is its proximity to Chicago. According to WGN, Illinois receives 40% of all quantum-related federal funding, and it is home to four of the country’s 10 quantum centers. Chicago also ranks second among cities in private investment in the space. The result is a coagulation of leading research and development as well as commercial institutions driving the industry forward. Further, this quantum epicenter is positioned near the ORD 10Data Center (350 Cermak), known for being the “most interconnected, multi-tenant data center in the Midwest.” Funding, plus leading institutions, plus the region’s largest internet exchange all adds up to significant advantages for building an impactful quantum network. Leveraging an established internet infrastructure like Chicago’s for quantum network access also means accelerated deployment thanks to established resources and connectivity.


In an industry defined by prohibitive factors, the Chicagoland region offers solutions that lay the foundation for the most cost-effective and resource-rich foundation possible to build a quantum network. Existing infrastructure meets abundant resources. Proximity to users meets practical financials. And much of this is sits in wide open spaces ready to welcome new data centers ready for quantum computing and communication.