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Section 1: 10-K (10-K)

Document
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

   
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                    to     
Commission File Number: 001-38231
403094771_switchlogoblacka22.gif
Switch, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Nevada
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
82-1883953
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
7135 S. Decatur Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV
(Address of principal executive offices)
89118
(Zip Code)

(702) 444-4111
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

N/A
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, par value $0.001
SWCH
New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  No      
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer 
Accelerated filer 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer 
Smaller reporting company 
 
 
 
Emerging growth company 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes     No 
As of June 28, 2019 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter), the aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates based on the closing price on that date as reported by the New York Stock Exchange was $863.2 million.
As of February 1, 2020, the registrant had 94,877,065 shares of Class A common stock, 146,410,385 shares of Class B common stock, and no shares of Class C common stock outstanding.

Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the 2020 annual meeting of the stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.




Switch, Inc.
Table of Contents

Part I.
 
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
 
 
Part II.
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
 
Part III.
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
 
Part IV.
 
 
Item 15.
Item 16.
 




BASIS OF PRESENTATION

As used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Form 10-K”), unless the context otherwise requires, references to:
“we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company,” “Switch” and similar references refer to Switch, Inc., and, unless otherwise stated, all of its subsidiaries, including Switch, Ltd., and, unless otherwise stated, all of its subsidiaries.
“Members” refer to the Founder Members, Non-Founder Members and Former Incentive Unit Holders.
“Founder Members” refer to Rob Roy, our Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and an affiliated entity of Mr. Roy, each of which own Common Units (as defined below) and who may exchange their Common Units for shares of our Class A common stock. As the context requires in this Form 10-K, “Founder Members” also refers to the respective successors, assigns and transferees of such Founder Members permitted under the Switch Operating Agreement and our amended and restated articles of incorporation.
“Non-Founder Members” refer to those direct and certain indirect owners of interest in Switch, Ltd., other than the Founder Members, each of which own Common Units and who may exchange their Common Units for shares of our Class A common stock. The Non-Founder Members include (i) each of our named executive officers, other than Mr. Roy and (ii) Tom Thomas and Donald D. Snyder, members of our board of directors. As the context requires in this Form 10-K, “Non-Founder Members” also refers to the respective successors, assigns and transferees of such Non-Founder Members permitted under the Switch Operating Agreement and our amended and restated articles of incorporation.
“Former Incentive Unit Holders” refer collectively to (i) our named executive officers; (ii) an affiliated entity of Mr. Roy; (iii) Mr. Snyder; and (iv) certain other current and former non-executive employees, in each case, who held incentive units in Switch, Ltd. and whose incentive units converted into Common Units of Switch, Ltd. in connection with our initial public offering (“IPO”).
“Common Units” refer to the single class of issued common membership interests of Switch, Ltd.
“Switch Operating Agreement” refers to the Fifth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Switch, Ltd.


Table of Contents

Part I.

Item 1.
Business.
What We Are

Switch is a technology infrastructure company powering the sustainable growth of the connected world and the Internet of Everything. Our mission is to enable the advancement of humanity by creating smart, resilient and sustainable infrastructure solutions that support the most innovative technology ecosystems.

Company Overview

We believe the future of the connected world depends on the sustainable and cost-effective growth of the internet and the services it enables. Using our technology platform, we provide solutions to help enable that growth. We believe we are a pioneer in the design, construction and operation of some of the world’s most reliable, secure, resilient and sustainable data centers. Our advanced data centers reside at the center of our platform and provide power densities that exceed industry averages with efficient cooling, while being powered by 100% renewable energy. Two of our data centers are the only carrier-neutral colocation facilities in the world to be certified Tier IV Design, Tier IV Facility and Tier IV Gold in Operational Excellence. While these certifications have been the highest classifications available in the industry, we are building our current facilities to our proprietary Class 5™ Platinum standards, which exceed and are more comprehensive than Tier IV standards. Our platform has powerful network effects and nurtures a rich technology ecosystem that benefits its participants. We further enhance these benefits as we innovate and expand our platform ecosystem. We currently have more than 950 customers, including some of the world’s largest technology and digital media companies, cloud IT and software providers, financial institutions and network and telecommunications providers.

The growing nexus between internet connectivity, internet-based services, data and analytics, and the advancement of computational processing power is rapidly expanding the amount of data that enterprises can access and manage. At the same time, the Internet of Everything is exponentially expanding the available data sources, as utility grids, automobiles, aircraft, home appliances, wearable devices and numerous other sources are all connecting to the internet. The compute capacity necessary to manage and analyze this data is also advancing and demanding increasing amounts of power to operate. We believe that traditional technology infrastructure is not capable of supporting the growing wave of mission critical data and increasingly powerful IT equipment.

The vast majority of our data centers are greenfield construction, and our critical infrastructure components are purpose-built to satisfy customers’ needs, drive efficiency and enable the deployment of highly advanced computing technologies. We build our facilities using Switch Modularly Optimized Designs (“Switch MODs”). These designs allow us to rapidly deploy or replace infrastructure to meet our customers’ current and future data storage and compute requirements. Additionally, our patented designs have redefined traditional data center space and cooling, allowing our customers to achieve significantly higher power densities than are available in traditional data centers. We believe the combination of these design elements reduces our operational costs, minimizes investment risk and positions us to adapt as the Internet of Everything continues to evolve. Our technologies were all designed and invented by our founder, Rob Roy, and are protected by over 500 issued and pending patent claims. Since the opening of our first colocation facility, we have delivered 100% uptime across all of our facilities. During the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, we derived 80%, 80%, and 81% of our revenue, respectively, from colocation services.

During 2019, we operated three primary campus locations, called Primes, which encompass 11 colocation facilities with an aggregate of up to 4.4 million gross square feet (“GSF”) of space. These facilities have up to 455 megawatts (“MW”) of power available to them. Our Primes consist of The Core Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada; The Citadel Campus near Reno, Nevada; and The Pyramid Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, our fourth Prime, The Keep Campus in Atlanta, Georgia, opened during the first quarter of 2020. Our Primes are strategically located in geographies that combine a low risk of natural disaster, favorable tax policies for customers deploying computing infrastructure and low latency connectivity to major metropolitan markets, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago, New York, Northern Virginia and Miami. As a result, customers in these metropolitan markets can access our advanced colocation facilities while reducing exposure to the higher taxes, higher cost of power and higher risk of natural disaster that might be prevalent in other markets. In addition to our Primes, SUPERNAP International, S.A. (“SUPERNAP International”) our international joint venture, has deployed facilities in Italy and Thailand that collectively provide up to approximately 904,000 GSF of space, with up to 100 MW of power available to these facilities. We can also use our Switch MOD technology to build single-user facilities,

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and we are considering opportunities to deploy this technology in a build-to-suit offering for our enterprise customers.

We have fostered the development of a robust technology ecosystem around our platform that consists of enterprises and service providers that include cloud and managed services providers and telecommunications carriers. Both our platform and our ecosystem have self-reinforcing network effects that benefit participants as both our platform and our ecosystem grows. As our platform and customer base expands, we continue to realize growing efficiencies of scale, which allows us to provide higher value services to our customers.

We believe our advanced platform, high level of service and competitive pricing create a disruptive offering with a powerful customer value proposition that differentiates us from many other existing solutions. Our advanced data centers are designed for efficiency and allow our customers to achieve higher than average power densities per cabinet with appropriate cooling, which we believe improves the performance and increases the life of our customers’ equipment. We located our data centers in areas with tax benefits, such as low or no sales tax on equipment, and access to competitively priced renewable power, both of which help further lower our customers’ total cost of ownership. Finally, our Combined Ordering Retail Ecosystem (“CORE”) service aggregates our customers’ buying power, and can significantly lower many of our customers’ connectivity costs. We believe the power of our customer value proposition is evidenced by our customer loyalty and low annual churn rate, which we define as the reduction in recurring revenue attributed to customer terminations or non-renewal of expired contracts, divided by revenue at the beginning of the period. Our average annual churn rate was 0.6% over the three years ended December 31, 2019 and 0.6% for the year ended December 31, 2019.

We believe that our technologies enable attractive cash flow yields on invested capital. Our modular expansion and vertically integrated development approach allows us to deploy capital efficiently, which further increases our yields. Across our current facilities, we generated on average a 17.1% cash flow yield on invested capital in 2019. We define cash flow yield on invested capital as Adjusted EBITDA less income taxes and maintenance capital expenditures, divided by property and equipment, net, less construction in progress.

Our Opportunity

Industry Background

Computational processing power continues to advance, and the amount of data that enterprises must manage, analyze and monitor is dramatically increasing. The rapid rise in data traffic and the world’s reliance on the internet to deliver services and information is making the collection, storage and transfer of data one of the largest challenges created by the internet. The power requirements and financial costs to support this growth in data, traffic and storage are massive and growing. At the same time, service provider data centers are only beginning to penetrate the data center market.

Industry Limitations

Despite the continued growth of traditional data center infrastructure and the continued demand for the public cloud due to its cost-effectiveness and pay-as-you-go scalability, we believe that traditional data center infrastructure and the public cloud are not optimally suited to support the growing wave of mission critical enterprise data applications and increasingly powerful IT equipment for several reasons, including the following:

First, we believe that increases in server density are beginning to strain the current power and cooling capacity of traditional colocation data centers. As IT hardware advances, servers increase in power but decrease in size, generating more heat and requiring more cooling per cabinet. Chip feature sizes have been repeatedly scaled down to fit more transistors in smaller chips. The nodes on a chip shrank from 30,000 nanometers (“nm”) in 1963 to 14 nm in 2016, and are expected to reach 5 nm by 2026. We expect these trends will require many traditional data center companies and enterprise-built data center facilities to attempt to retrofit their existing infrastructure to accommodate the additional weight of denser cabinets and the additional equipment necessary to power and cool those cabinets. Current designs typically include raised floors and cooling equipment installed on the ceiling or roof. Retrofitting these designs, even if possible, would be time-consuming, expensive and highly disruptive to existing customers, and may still not allow a data center to keep pace with technological advances.

Second, we believe that the public cloud is not an ideal solution for certain business critical data storage and computing needs. Large or sophisticated workloads may be expensive to run in the public cloud or may require higher availability and reliability than the public cloud provides. Enterprises with sensitive or regulated data, such as

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financial institutions and healthcare companies, may be unwilling or unable to use the public cloud for security-related or compliance reasons. In addition, some workloads require an active-active environment, which necessitates two physical environments in close proximity to each other. Further, the public cloud’s shared servers are not an efficient computing environment to run analytics such as advanced machine-learning algorithms, analyze sensitive medical device data or manage autonomous vehicle networks.

Third, given the limitations of both the public cloud and the enterprise-built facilities, we expect enterprises to increasingly deploy IT equipment across hybrid cloud and colocation environments, with mission critical data stored at a colocation facility. As a result, the resiliency and security of the colocation facilities will take on even greater importance. There are significant business risks and potential costs associated with running mission-critical applications in a physical environment that is not 100% resilient and secure. These costs include lost revenue, damage to mission critical data, damage to equipment, legal and regulatory impact, and decline in brand value and reputation. In some instances, the costs can be significantly higher.

Finally, we believe that enterprises are beginning to recognize significant value from environments that encourage and facilitate interaction among their various constituents. The deeper and broader the participation that occurs within the environment, the greater the value to the various participants. As a result, data centers can add significant additional value by bringing together enterprises, cloud and managed services providers and telecommunications carriers in an environment that fosters communication, collaboration and innovation. We believe these elements will be difficult to find among traditional colocation data centers.

We believe a significant opportunity exists for data centers that can address the shortcomings of traditional colocation facilities, enterprise-built facilities and public cloud offerings.

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe we distinguish ourselves from typical colocation providers and other technology infrastructure companies through our competitive strengths, which include:

Purpose-Built, Highly-Resilient, Patented Solutions

Our critical infrastructure components are purpose-built to satisfy customers’ needs, drive efficiency and enable the deployment of highly advanced computing technologies, and our designs are protected by over 500 issued and pending patent claims. Our Switch MODs allow us to rapidly deploy or replace infrastructure as our customers’ needs evolve. We believe this reduces operational costs, minimizes investment risk and facilitates our ability to adapt as the Internet of Everything continues to evolve.

We have redefined data center space and cooling, allowing our customers to achieve higher power densities than they can in traditional data centers. Our power densities enable our customers to include more IT equipment per cabinet than in typical data center environments, which can reduce space requirements and the associated monthly costs and set-up costs and drive down in-cabinet latency. Additionally, we believe our ability to run more powerful cabinets at the appropriate temperature improves performance and extends the life of our customers’ equipment. This results in lower total cost of ownership for our customers.

We have the only carrier-neutral colocation facilities in the world to be certified Tier IV Design, Tier IV Facility and Tier IV Gold in Operational Excellence, all of which were among the highest classifications available in the industry at the time. This requires fully redundant systems and total fault tolerance. We utilize the most stringent operational protocols to ensure our customers’ infrastructure is always on. As such, we have delivered 100% uptime across all of our facilities since the opening of our first colocation facility. In an effort to increase transparency and enhance the reliability of data center rating standards, we also introduced a proprietary Class 5™ Platinum standard. This standard exceeds the Tier IV Gold certifications and incorporates more than 30 additional elements critical to data center design and constant operation. These elements include even more stringent parameters regarding long-term power system capabilities, the number of available carriers, zero roof penetrations, the location of cooling system lines in or above the data center, physical and network security and 100% use of renewable energy. We currently build our facilities to this Class 5™ Platinum standard.

Differentiated Technology Ecosystem Underscored by Powerful Network Effects

We operate a dynamic technology ecosystem that brings together a wide variety of parties. Many of the participants in our ecosystem collaborate and engage in commerce with one another to enhance their own

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businesses. As we continue to innovate, we believe our customer value proposition strengthens, attracting new customers and encouraging existing customers to grow with us. This expanding, diverse mix of enterprise customers attracts cloud service providers, managed services providers and telecommunications carriers. This growing base of service providers, in turn, attracts other new enterprise customers seeking an environment with diverse, high-quality service providers and other innovative companies with which to collaborate.

The powerful Switch technology ecosystem creates value for our enterprise customers in the form of telecommunications purchasing, robust service provider access, private interconnection alternatives among enterprise customers and the opportunity to collaborate with other participants in our ecosystem. For example, our CORE service aggregates our customers’ buying power and can significantly lower customers’ connectivity costs. The ecosystem yields intrinsic value for us by lowering our customer acquisition costs and enhancing our customer value proposition, which we believe drives further customer loyalty. In addition, because many of our customers choose to run mission-critical and advanced applications within our facilities, we gain exposure to emerging technologies. We believe this provides us with unique visibility into future trends and bolsters our ability to plan for evolving needs.

Commitment to Sustainability

We believe that while data runs the planet, it should not ruin the planet. We were the only company recognized by Greenpeace in its most recent Clicking Clean report (2017) as having a 100% clean energy index. Our energy index was higher than every other technology company identified in the report, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. Additionally, we were the only company in the report to receive an “A” grade in all five categories measured by Greenpeace, and our overall “A” grade outperformed all of the other data center operators, including Equinix, which received a clean energy index of 20% and a “B” grade, Digital Realty Trust, which received a clean energy index of 21% and a “C” grade, and DuPont Fabros, which received a clean energy index of 7% and an “F” grade. We believe that many technology and infrastructure companies, as well as their customers and clients, evaluate progress towards achieving clean energy goals by reference to the company scorecards included in the Greenpeace report.

Through technological innovation, industry partnerships and public advocacy, we also support renewable energy production facilities. While we are proud of our achievements in safeguarding the future of our planet, we believe our achievements in sustainability also drive customer demand. More than ever, enterprises are searching for solutions to address their own clean energy goals. Deploying IT equipment within a Switch data center helps our customers achieve their green energy objectives and reduce their carbon footprint.

Our Strong and Trusted Brand

Trust, innovation and perfection are hallmarks of the Switch brand.

We recognize the level of trust customers place in us to house and protect their IT equipment. We operate under the slogan “Truth in Technology,” which embodies the notion that the product should be so amazing that nothing more than the truth is necessary to sell it. We endeavor to further safeguard our customers’ trust by striving to deliver perfection in all that we do, and we are proud to have delivered 100% uptime across all of our facilities. However, we are never satisfied, and we continually strive to innovate and deliver novel solutions for the emerging challenges our customers face as technology and business needs evolve.

We have grown our customer base primarily through industry and customer referrals, and our customers tend to increase their spending with us over time, demonstrating the power of our brand and the quality of our solutions.

Visionary and Experienced Leadership Underscored by a Culture of Innovation and Execution

Rob Roy is a serial “inventrepreneur” who is a recognized expert in advanced end-to-end solutions for mission-critical facilities. Rob Roy first invented his design for the Switch MOD more than a decade ago and since then has added numerous inventions and corresponding patent claims to the Switch portfolio. The designs of our data center facilities are protected by over 500 issued and pending patent claims.

Rob Roy has instilled in us the practice of “Switchful Thinking”— the state of constant willingness to change and adapt and to produce the best solutions through innovation and invention. We were built and are led by a

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management team of technology futurists who believe that everything is possible through listening, intellectualizing, forming a plan and executing.

We have a deep and experienced senior management team who collectively have over 150 years of experience at Switch and a majority of whom have been with Switch for more than five years.
 
Our goal is to enable the current and future compute needs of our customers and to facilitate technological advancement through smart and sustainable infrastructure solutions designed to support the most innovative technology ecosystems in the world. To accomplish this, we plan to:
Continue to Grow Our Existing Prime Campus Locations. During 2019, we operated The Core Campus, The Citadel Campus and The Pyramid Campus in or near Las Vegas, Reno and Grand Rapids, respectively. These Primes currently encompass 11 data centers with an aggregate of up to 4.4 million GSF of space and up to 455 MW of power available to these facilities. We plan to continue to expand these Primes and actively pursue additional customers with strategic fit for our ecosystem, as well as sell additional solutions to existing customers. Each of our Primes has room for expansion.
Expand into New Geographies in the United States. We opened The Keep Campus in Atlanta, Georgia during the first quarter of 2020 to expand geographically into the southeast and mid-Atlantic United States. We believe this approach, combined with our ability to deploy capital efficiently through our modular design, reduces the risks associated with our geographic expansion and enhances the strategic value of our new locations.
Leverage Our Unique Technology Ecosystem to Drive Interconnection Growth. Our ecosystem connects more than 950 customers, including over 250 cloud, IT and software providers and more than 90 network and telecommunications providers, which creates an important hub for the Internet of Everything. We plan to support our customers’ interconnection needs by continuing to increase our cross connect and external broadband offerings.
Maintain and Extend Our Technological Leadership. We have a long history of innovation and are a dynamically inventive organization. We plan to continue to invest in the development of new technologies in order to continue improving our standards for security, availability and scalability. Additionally, we intend to leverage our patented technologies and designs to strategically pursue new, adjacent market opportunities outside our core business. By leveraging our technology and leadership in data center design, we believe we can solve new problems created by the rapid expansion of the internet, data storage and analytics.
Pursue Strategic Partnerships. We may enter into strategic relationships with a variety of partners that contribute to our business. For example, rather than simply offering our customers connectivity to public cloud environments, frequently referred to as being an “on ramp” to the cloud, we may partner with public cloud providers to address that portion of their customers’ needs that require higher density and reliability than is typically available from public cloud offerings. To facilitate these potential partnerships, we plan to expand in locations alongside hyperscale cloud deployments enabling us to provide colocation for cloud customers’ mission critical needs. In 2018, we entered into a partnership with a private cloud provider to deliver digital transformation services to customers in our data centers.

Our Technology

Our Solution

We design, construct and operate hyperscale data centers that address the growing challenges facing the data center industry. Key elements of our data centers include:

Modularly Optimized Design
The modular design of our data centers is enabled by our patented Switch MOD products. The Switch MOD architecture allows us to build colocation data centers of various sizes by combining multiple Switch MODs into a single structure. For example, at The Core Campus, each of our LAS VEGAS 8, LAS VEGAS 9, LAS VEGAS 10 and LAS VEGAS 11 facilities were constructed by combining multiple Switch MODs. Combining Switch MODs allows for shared power sources and increased operational efficiency.

We can also build any of our Switch MODs in a single-user configuration. This provides an alternative to traditional colocation for customers with large, dedicated compute and data storage needs. Regardless of whether

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they are used for colocation or single-user purposes, we design, manufacture and operate our Switch MODs to meet our proprietary Class 5™ Platinum standard.

The Switch POWER SPINE is an innovative adaptation allowing increased modularity in data center architecture. The Switch POWER SPINE provides the structure and pathway to provision power from any power room to any cabinet within the data center. This allows for the delivery of additional circuits to any cabinet over many years in an efficient and organized fashion. The POWER SPINE also reduces construction costs by placing the overhead weight of the heavy power conduits on the concrete steel-reinforced slab on grade floor, reducing the roof load and infrastructure needed to support that load. Placing the POWER SPINE on the grade floor also increases the seismic integrity of the facility.

The Switch Power Distribution Units (“PDUs”) are part of our system-plus-system color-coded power components, which provide modular power and allow the data center to deliver 100% power uptime.

Power Density and Cooling Capacity
One of the most significant challenges faced by traditional colocation facilities is the need to increase their power density and cooling capacity to keep pace with the increases in IT equipment power requirements and heat exhaustion. Traditional data centers are designed with a raised floor and internal Computer Room Air Conditioner (“CRAC”) units that take up valuable floor space. In these traditional environments, the hot air exhausted by IT equipment blends with the cold air provided by the CRAC units, which causes the temperature to rise. As customers add more equipment, the data center operator must install additional internal CRAC units. Customers in these traditional data centers are required to leave portions of the cabinets empty to reduce the amount of heat coming out of the cabinet, which forces the customer to buy additional space for their equipment to accommodate these cooling restrictions. We expect many traditional colocation facilities will be required to attempt to retrofit their infrastructure, if possible, to accommodate the additional weight of denser cabinets and the additional equipment necessary to power and cool those cabinets. Without these retrofitting changes, we believe these traditional colocation facilities will not be able to accommodate the newer servers or the higher densities required by customers who want to run them.

We have developed patented technologies that have redefined data center space and cooling, allowing customers to deploy high density and scalable IT architectures to support demanding and mission critical workloads. Our data centers are designed to enable us to adapt to customers’ needs for increased power and densities without retrofitting our existing facilities. These technologies include:
100% Hot Aisle Containment Rows.    We refer to our patented 100% Hot Aisle Containment Row technology as the Switch Thermal Separate Compartment in Facility (“T-SCIF”) or the Chimney Pod. As depicted in the figure below, the T-SCIF (Chimney Pod) creates a fully contained hot aisle between parallel rows of cabinets. The heat from the customers’ equipment exhausts into the hot aisle, where it vents up into a hot-air plenum and out of the data center via extraction fans. Simultaneously, cold air is released from the overhead vents in the cold room into the intakes of the IT equipment in the cabinets, which cools the equipment. The exhausted hot air is never allowed to blend back into the cold room, which helps ensure that our customers’ IT equipment operates in the correct environmental conditions. Using this cooling method, we are able to cool power levels that significantly exceed those of traditional data centers. Our ability to support these increased densities enables our customers to use and buy less cabinet space to house their equipment, which reduces the cost of their deployment. Similarly, the ability to handle these increased densities allows us to deploy more power on less space, driving a higher return on capital.

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403094771_containmentrows.jpg
Exterior Wall Penetrating Multi-Mode HVAC Units.    We provide cooling to the T-SCIFs using our patented Exterior Wall Penetrating Multi-Mode heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) units that we refer to as the TSC 500, TSC 600 and TSC 1000. The units are attached to the exterior wall of the Switch MOD, which alleviates the cost of reinforcing the data center floor or roof to support the weight of HVAC equipment, while also enabling complete segregation of hot and cold air in the data center. The exterior location of our TSC units eliminates the need to bring water into the data center, frees up valuable IT space for cabinet deployments and allows us to repair or replace any single TSC without disrupting the data center environment. Each of our TSC 500, TSC 600 and TSC 1000 units can take advantage of multiple modes of cooling depending on the environment, which enables us to construct facilities that can be cooled entirely without water. We believe this combination of cooling methods makes our facilities the most efficient and resilient large-scale commercial data centers ever constructed.
403094771_exteriorwall.jpg

Hot and Cold Containment Segregation Structure.    The Switch BLACK IRON FOREST is the framework that supports the weight of the 100% Hot Aisle Containment Rows within a T-SCIF, the ceiling for the heat containment chamber, the power delivery pathways for each uninterruptible power system (“UPS”) and cabinet system-plus-system PDU. This increases the stability and integrity of our facilities by distributing all overhead weight to a concrete steel-reinforced slab on grade floor. This structure is also connected horizontally across the facility, which increases the physical stability of the facility. In addition, this structure’s thermal qualities help efficiently maintain the temperature within the data center because all of this metal gets cold from all the cold air blowing on it all the time, and stays cold, radiating cold air through the room and helping to keep the room cold.

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Resiliency

Another challenge faced by all data centers is the ability to assure customers that their IT equipment remains operational despite utility power outages or other unplanned occurrences. Since the opening of our first colocation facility, we have delivered 100% uptime to our customers. To accomplish this, we have implemented a tri-redundant design, consisting of three separate power systems with no single points of failure. Additionally, each power system contains its own generators and UPSs. Effectively, one entire system can experience a failure without our customers experiencing any downtime. Other proprietary elements that contribute to our resiliency include:
Redundant Data Center Roofing System.    Switch SHIELD is a patented system consisting of an inner roof and outer roof that are separated by nine feet. Both roofs are solid steel, unpenetrated, watertight, airtight, and rated to withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour. If the outer roof is damaged, the inner roof still protects our customers’ IT equipment. Switch SHIELD mitigates extreme weather conditions and, with its dual-roof architecture, allows the maintenance, repair or replacement of the roof components while protecting the critical system operations of the data center below, even during a full roof replacement.
403094771_roofingsystem.jpg
Multi-System Power Containers.    The Switch Power Optimized Delivery (“POD”) consists of a separate, color-coded, tri-redundant system in a system-plus-system configuration. This tri-redundant design reinforces our mission-critical focus on delivering 100% power uptime.
403094771_powercontainers.jpg
Data Center Infrastructure Management System.    The advanced infrastructure solutions that power, cool, connect and protect our data centers are monitored and optimized with our Living Data Center (“LDC”) software. This Switch-developed and supported software monitors all the critical infrastructure of the data center macro-environment and the micro-environments for each customer. Our customers can securely access data pertaining to each of their deployments on a real-time basis as LDC dynamically updates and displays information synthesized from thousands of sensors deployed throughout each facility.


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Our Campus Locations

As of December 31, 2019, we had the following Prime Campuses operating or under development at strategic locations in the United States, encompassing 11 data centers and 4.4 million GSF of space: 
The Core Campus.    The Core Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada, currently encompasses nine separate data centers with up to approximately 2.3 million GSF of space and up to 315 MW of 100% renewable power available to these facilities. In the fourth quarter of 2018, we opened one additional data center at The Core Campus, providing up to 340,000 GSF of additional space and have up to 40 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facility. The Core Campus location offers approximately 5- and 6-millisecond latencies to Southern California and Phoenix, respectively.
The Citadel Campus.    The Citadel Campus near Reno, Nevada, is designed to be the world’s largest data center campus. Our first data center in The Citadel Campus, which we believe will be the largest data center in the world upon completion, opened in November 2016. This data center is designed to include up to approximately 1.4 million GSF of space and have up to 130 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facility. We have plans to build seven additional data centers at The Citadel Campus that will provide up to 5.9 million GSF of additional space and have up to 520 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facilities. The Citadel Campus location offers approximately 4-millisecond latency to Northern California.
The Pyramid Campus.    The Pyramid Campus is our Northeastern Prime and is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was designed to be the largest data center campus in the eastern United States. The first data center space became available in the Switch Pyramid, an adaptive reuse of the former Steelcase Pyramid, in June 2016. The Switch Pyramid is designed to include up to 220,000 GSF of data center floorspace and have up to 10 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facility. The Pyramid Campus is planned to include up to two additional data centers that will provide up to approximately 940,000 GSF of additional space and have up to 100 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facilities. We expect to construct these facilities as necessary to meet customer demand. In addition to serving the Michigan market, The Pyramid Campus location offers approximately 4-millisecond latency to Chicago.
The Keep Campus.    The Keep Campus is our Southeastern Prime located in Atlanta, Georgia. We began construction of the campus in the fourth quarter of 2017 and our first data center opened during the first quarter of 2020. This data center is designed to include up to approximately 310,000 GSF of space and have up to 35 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facility. The Keep Campus is planned to include additional data centers that will provide up to approximately 790,000 GSF of additional space and have up to 75 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facilities.

The Core Campus and The Citadel Campus are connected through a fiber network known as the Switch SUPERLOOP. The Switch SUPERLOOP gives customers the advantages of a highly available yet low latency fiber network in close proximity to the major markets of California, but without the high taxes, the high cost of power or the high risk of natural disasters associated with California. The latency between The Core Campus and The Citadel Campus locations is approximately 7 milliseconds using the Nevada portion of the SUPERLOOP. This connectivity enables customers to deploy mission-critical infrastructure and workloads in a large active-active data center configuration. It also provides geographical redundancy of data center deployments while staying within Nevada’s tax-advantaged business climate. Through our carrier partners, the Switch SUPERLOOP location also provides approximately 4-millisecond connectivity from The Citadel Campus to the Bay Area and approximately 5-millisecond connectivity from The Core Campus to Southern California (round trip).

We carefully chose the locations of our U.S. campuses based on characteristics that we believed would help drive resiliency, performance and cost efficiencies for our customers. Our Prime campus locations are located in areas with low natural disaster risk. For example, the state of Nevada boasts the lowest natural disaster rating in the Western United States. Additionally, each of these locations offers favorable tax and economic development policies that provide zero or low-tax environments for our customers to deploy IT equipment. While all of our locations offer a lower-cost source of 100% renewable power, there are additional efficiency advantages. For example, the Nevada climate is characterized by low humidity and relatively stable temperatures for most of the year. This improves cooling efficiencies and reduces power consumption. We own most of our facilities, and where the land and shell are not owned, we hold long-term leases on those assets.


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In addition to our Primes, SUPERNAP International has deployed facilities in Italy and Thailand that collectively provide up to approximately 904,000 GSF of space, with up to 100 MW of power available to the facilities.

Our Platform Has Powerful Network Effects and Nurtures a Rich Technology Ecosystem

Our technology infrastructure platform supports a dynamic technology ecosystem bringing together enterprises and service providers, including cloud and managed services providers and telecommunications carriers. Participants benefit from the proximity to these service providers, customers and collaborators. Our platform and our ecosystem have independent but synergistic self-proliferating network effects that benefit participants as we continue to innovate, our platform evolves and our ecosystem grows.

As we continue to improve and enhance our technology, we believe our customer value proposition grows stronger. In turn, our ability to deliver increasing value to our customers attracts new customers and encourages existing customers to grow with us.

Our Technology Ecosystem Creates Significant Value and Has Powerful Network Effects

Our hyperscale data centers are akin to a large and dynamic digital city, which is home to a wide variety of technology citizens. These citizens engage in commerce with each other and collaborate to enhance their offerings to the world in general. All benefit from the density of our facilities, the proximity to each other and the opportunity to interact in a safe, secure and stable environment. Our ecosystem includes numerous enterprises from a wide variety of business segments, many of which are operating their most dense deployments and hosting mission-critical data and applications. These enterprises attract other participants within the ecosystem, such as cloud platform providers, managed services providers and telecommunications carriers that we refer to collectively as ecosystem service providers.

In turn, the presence of these ecosystem service providers attracts other new enterprise customers seeking to collaborate with our ecosystem service providers. This further differentiates our ecosystem by increasing customer diversity and the range of mission-critical applications run within a single campus. We proactively foster an environment where technology companies can connect and innovate on various projects, which further increases participation in the ecosystem.

The powerful Switch technology ecosystem creates value for our enterprise customers, such as:
Telecommunications Purchasing.    The scale of our campuses attracts a robust network of telecommunications carriers to our facilities that is mutually beneficial to our customers and the carriers. The size and diversity of customers in our campuses generate significant demand for connectivity, while at the same time providing a cost effective entry point for carriers. Switch can fit a significantly larger number of customers into each data center campus, therefore on-net telecommunications carriers can sell large quantities of services to this ecosystem of customers. Our CORE purchasing cooperative aggregates the buying power of our customers, enabling us to provide significant cost-savings on connectivity, while also maintaining a flexible and expansive carrier partner ecosystem from which our customers can choose. Customers can use CORE to acquire connectivity services outside of our campuses.
Service Provider Access.    Our Switch CLOUD ecosystem provides our customers with direct access to more than 250 cloud, IT and software providers and the flexibility to leverage the right mix of on- and off-premise public and private cloud services. By establishing these connections within our facility, our customers enjoy low-latency, highly secure and flexible access to multiple cloud providers to meet their unique business requirements.
Interconnectivity.    Our ecosystem connects more than 950 customers, including over 250 cloud, IT and software providers and more than 90 network and telecommunications providers, which enhances our customers’ ability to inter- and cross-connect. The ability for customers to privately interconnect has many benefits including reducing costs, optimizing performance and satisfying regulatory requirements. Interconnecting within our data center allows customers to avoid the expense associated with long-haul dedicated connectivity and provides reduced latency and higher availability. By cross-connecting within our facilities, regulated entities can avoid the need to exchange traffic over the internet, thereby satisfying regulatory security requirements in a more cost-efficient manner.

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Collaborative Innovation.    Our dedicated sales team is driven to help our customers connect, innovate and develop technologies of the future and actively works to foster collaboration amongst our ecosystem participants. Our sales force is empowered and encouraged to build positive relationships and foster interaction between our customers on a platform grounded in truth. This is part of our Truth in Technology commitment.

Our technology ecosystem also creates intrinsic value for us, such as:
Visibility into Future Technologies.    Our customers run some of their most mission-critical and advanced applications in our hyperscale facilities and our exposure to that technology gives us unique visibility into future trends and allows us to plan for future needs.
Lower Customer Acquisition Costs.    Our ecosystem attracts customers. This natural and self-reinforcing phenomenon results in less time and money spent acquiring customers.
Customer Loyalty.    Our ecosystem helps support our strong customer value proposition, which in turn creates customer loyalty. We believe this loyalty is evidenced by our low annual churn rate, which averaged approximately 0.6% over the three years ended December 31, 2019 and 0.6% for the year ended December 31, 2019. Additionally, our customers regularly expand their deployments within our facilities. For example, approximately 62% of the increase in revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 was attributable to growth from existing customers, while the remaining 38% of the increase in revenue was attributable to new customers initiating service after December 31, 2018.

Our Customer Scale and Density allows us to offer Collaborative Services

As our platform and customer base continues to expand, we continue to realize growing efficiencies and benefits of scale at each of our Primes. Our large and growing customer base within each Prime has provided us with the economies of scale necessary to provide our customers valuable ancillary services, such as Switch CONNECT and Switch SAFE.
Switch CONNECT.    Switch CONNECT provides telecommunications audit and agency services that help our customers evaluate network needs and purchase substantially discounted telecommunications services through CORE, our purchasing cooperative. CORE aggregates the buying power of the over $8 trillion combined market capitalization of the customers in our ecosystem. Our Switch CONNECT team has achieved savings in excess of 50% for our customers compared with their previous telecommunications spend.
Switch SAFE.    Switch SAFE provides our customers with a large scale, always-on distributed denial of service (D/DoS) attack mitigation platform. We work with customers to understand attack profiles and configure networks to respond to the evolving threat landscape. Switch SAFE is capable of managing attacks of up to 300 gigabits-per-second and 220 million packets-per-second from a single device, allowing our customers to keep their mission critical services up and running.

Our customer density results in a multiplicity of technology enterprises in the same location, which creates a powerful environment for both our enterprise customers and our ecosystem service providers. We believe these customer densities and volumes enable our ecosystem service providers to earn a desirable return on their capital investment, even with the discounted rates we negotiate on behalf of our customers.

These collaborative services create even greater value for our customers and ecosystem service providers alike, creating a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Our Customers

We have more than 950 customers, including some of the world’s largest technology and digital media companies, cloud, IT and software providers, financial institutions and network and telecommunications providers. Our customer base is meaningfully diversified across key industries, including approximately 26% in cloud, IT and software, 18% in retail and consumer goods, 15% in digital media and entertainment, 12% in financial, and 8% in network and telecommunications as of December 31, 2019. In each of these industries we have marquee customers who have grown with us over time. We believe that we have a significant opportunity to both grow penetration of existing customers as well as attract new customers. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and

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2018, our top 10 customers accounted for approximately 36.5% and 36.3% of revenue, respectively, and only one customer, eBay, Inc. and its affiliates, accounted for more than 10% of revenue during each year.

We provide our customers with a consistent experience and high level of service at low cost, which enables us to maintain one of the lowest churn rates in the industry and the lowest of any publicly reporting data center company that reports churn rate metrics. From 2017 to 2019, our annual churn rate averaged 0.6%. Our early customers remain loyal to us today.

Sustainability

Since January 1, 2016, we have powered all of our U.S. data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy. We are the largest data center operator in the United States to be 100% renewably powered, and we support local and new renewable facilities. We have successfully accomplished this goal through a combination of technological innovation, capital investment, industry partnerships and public advocacy. Many of our customers and potential customers are looking for ways to achieve their “green” goals and reach desired levels of sustainability, which other colocation solutions cannot provide. By locating their IT equipment with us, they are able to advance on those goals and improve on their current level of sustainability. Elements of our sustainability efforts include the following:
Clicking Clean Scorecard.    In recognition of our efforts, Greenpeace awarded us “A” grades in all five categories measured by Greenpeace in its most recent Clicking Clean Company Scorecard (2017). We were the only company in the United States that received all “A” grades, and we were recognized as the leader among colocation data centers evaluated in the study. We believe that many technology and infrastructure companies, as well as their customers and clients, evaluate progress towards achieving “clean energy” goals by reference to the company scorecards included in this report.
Leading Power and Cooling Efficiency.    Our technology results in significant efficiencies enabling annual Power Usage Effectiveness (“PUE”) of 1.28. We do not believe other colocation data center providers are able to maintain such a low PUE while simultaneously allowing customers to operate at very high power densities. We accomplish all of this without compromising our adherence to industry best standards. Our facilities are 100% green and operate at a level that exceeds the standards of IEEE, ANSI, ASHRAE, 24/7, ISO 9001, SAS 70/SSAE-16, BICSI and the Green Grid Association.
Supporting New and Local Solar.    In 2016, we partnered with the local Nevada utility to construct Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2, which are two solar power stations in Las Vegas, Nevada having a combined 179 MW of nameplate capacity. In 2019, we also partnered with Capital Dynamics in the construction of “Gigawatt 1,” the single largest solar project portfolio in the United States. We have secured long-term power purchase and sale agreements under a solar project part of Gigawatt 1 with 180 MW of nameplate capacity and a 90 MW energy storage facility, which are expected to commence during 2022.
Energy Market Direct Access.    We were the first entity since 2005 to seek the right to unbundle from the electric monopoly in Nevada. By leaving the monopoly and being able to purchase power from the broader electric market, we have greater freedom to control the energy we use, including the ability to lock in our commodity pricing for longer periods, purchase renewable energy from economical resources and effectuate broader national policy change. Since June 1, 2017, we have been buying our power directly from the national market, as opposed to buying it from the incumbent electrical power utility. We have seen savings from this direct national energy market participation.

Our Values

Our core values govern how every Switch employee executes on our mission to power the sustainable growth of the connected world and include:
Truth in Technology.    Our customers place a significant level of trust in us to provide them the best technology solutions for their business.
Sustainable by Design.    Sustainably running the internet has been a core value since our founding. Our commitment does not stop there. We thoughtfully pursue the advancement of new, innovative policies that expand access to smart water, clean energy and the technological advances that are changing the way the world is powered. We focus on sustainability on multiple levels and have adopted internal policies focused on reducing plastic bottle waste, utilizing biodegradable tableware and recycling.

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Committing to Our Communities through Economic Development.    We believe in building strong communities wherever we operate. We drive and will continue to push economic development through the creation of Rob Roy’s InNEVation Centers. The centers were created to support the New Nevada Initiative. We like to say that we take the “no” out of innovation. These economic hubs support startups, growups and our customers in collaborating with non-profits, educators, community and thought leaders and “inNEVators” of all shapes and sizes to engage with each other and drive economic results in the communities in which we operate.
Leading the Industry and beyond in Gender Equality and Veteran Placement.    We believe our workforce is richly diverse in its total composition at all levels and outpaces our industry in the number of women executives. Women hold high-level technical positions throughout our company, including chief responsibility for construction, information and solutions architecture, branding and customer operations. Veterans provide another critical backbone of our workforce. We honor their service and actively recruit veterans to our mission-critical environment. Through our Switch University, we have pioneered strategic partnerships with community colleges to develop a work force that is prepared for the careers that run the Internet of Everything in our data centers.
Supporting Interdisciplinary Education Blending Technology and the Arts.    We believe that combining education, technology and the arts creates a powerful platform for the future of our country and its market competitiveness. We have collaborated with universities to bring about improvements in research through our donations of supercomputers and connectivity to help accelerate their standing in the critical world of higher education research. We are also passionate about funding programs that build school gardens to connect youth to science through hands-on experiential learning. We bring financial commitment and thought leadership to preparing the next generation of whole-mind thinkers through an unwavering commitment to interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education programs in Nevada, Michigan, Georgia and in any state where we operate. Switch proudly supports First Robotics winning teams in Nevada and Michigan, the STEAM Education Village at Art Prize in Grand Rapids, the Nevada Museum of the Arts STEAM School, and the Smith Center for Performing Arts STEAM Programs. We believe that the best creative problem solvers who can integrate form and function with equal mastery through science, technology, engineering, arts and math education platforms will run the internet of absolutely everything with both form and function in mind.
Karma: Our culture is grounded in the philosophy of doing the right thing.    Innovation, detail and excellence drives everything from the interior architecture of our environments to our delivery of 100% uptime. We do it all with dedication to providing world-renowned facilities, superior service for our customers, the best working experience in the industry, true technology leadership and deep caring for the communities where we operate and the planet where we live. Our logo mark was designed to put the power of karma at the center of our company. We believe that if you put good energy out, you will get good energy back.

Sales and Marketing

Our sales strategy is built around “Truth in Technology.” Our team works closely with each customer to identify that customer’s needs and to design a solution tailored to meet those needs. They also help to integrate each customer into our ecosystem, which provides access to Switch Connect and Switch Cloud and potentially the ability to connect directly with their existing and potential customers. Many of our customers encourage their customers, suppliers and business partners to place IT equipment in our data centers, which has created a network effect resulting in additional customer acquisitions. In addition, large network providers, cloud providers or managed services providers may refer customers to us as part of their total customer solution. These processes have resulted in significant customer growth with limited spend on sales and marketing. Selling and marketing expenses include sales and marketing labor costs, direct branding and selling expenses, as well as administrative and travel and entertainment expenses for our marketing and sales departments. Selling and marketing expenses exclude sponsorships, contributions and lobbying expenses.

We use a direct sales force and selected partner relationships to market our offerings to global enterprises, content providers, financial companies and mobile and network service providers. We have a robust colocation sales team who combined offer over 50 years of experience as members of our team. Our culture is one which fosters a team environment and allows our sales representatives to offer the customer the solution they need without artificial sales pressure. We believe that the strength of our product and market reputation are the biggest reasons for increased sales activity.

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To support our sales efforts and to promote our brand proactively, we have active and experienced branding and marketing teams. Our marketing strategies include active public relations and ongoing customer communications programs. We also regularly measure customer satisfaction levels and host key customer forums to identify and address customer needs. We believe our brand is one of our most valuable assets, and we strive to build recognition through our website, external blog and social media channels, by sponsoring or leading industry technical forums, by participating in internet industry standard-setting bodies and through advertising and online campaigns.

Competition

We offer a broad range of data center services and, as a result, we may compete with a wide range of data center service providers for some or all of the services we offer. We face competition from numerous developers, owners and operators in the data center industry, including managed services providers and real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) such as CoreSite Realty Corporation, CyrusOne Inc., Digital Realty Trust, Inc., Equinix, Inc. and QTS Realty Trust, Inc., some of which own or lease data centers, or may do so in the future, in markets in which our properties are located. Additionally, we are aware of other companies that may compete against us in various geographies or that may be developing additional data center capabilities to compete with us. Our current and future competitors may vary by size and service offerings and geographic presence.

Competition is primarily centered on reputation and track record, quality and availability of data center space, quality of service, technical expertise, security, reliability, functionality, geographic coverage, financial strength and price. Some of our current and future competitors may have greater brand recognition, longer operating histories, stronger marketing, technical and financial resources and access to less expensive power than we do. As a result, some of our competitors may be able to:
offer space at prices below current market rates or below the prices we currently charge our customers;
bundle colocation services with other services or equipment they provide at reduced prices;
develop superior products or services, gain greater market acceptance and expand their service offerings more efficiently or rapidly;
adapt to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer requirements more quickly;
take advantage of acquisition and other opportunities more readily; and
adopt more aggressive pricing policies and devote greater resources to the promotion, marketing and sales of their services.
We operate in a competitive market and we face pricing pressure for our services. Prices for our services are affected by a variety of factors, including supply and demand conditions and pricing pressures from our competitors. We may be required to lower our prices to remain competitive, which may decrease our margins and adversely affect our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, we had 789 employees. We collaborate with the local unions where applicable, such as construction and the trades; however, none of our direct employees are represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We believe our employee relations are good and we have not experienced any work stoppages.

Regulation

General
Data centers in our markets are subject to various laws, ordinances and regulations. We believe that each of our properties has the necessary permits and approvals for us to operate our business.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Our properties must comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”) to the extent that such properties are “public accommodations” or “commercial facilities” as defined by the ADA. The ADA may require, for example, removal of structural barriers to access by persons with disabilities in certain public areas of our properties where such removal is readily achievable. We believe that our properties are in substantial

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compliance with the ADA and that we will not be required to make substantial capital expenditures to address the requirements of the ADA. However, noncompliance with the ADA could result in imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. The obligation to make readily achievable accommodations is an ongoing one, and we will continue to assess our properties and to make alterations as appropriate in this respect.

Environmental Matters
We are required to obtain a number of permits from various government agencies to construct a data center facility, including the customary zoning, land use and related permits, and are also subject to laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, the storage, management and disposal of hazardous materials, emissions to air and discharges to water, the cleanup of contaminated sites and health and safety matters. These include various regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal, state and local regulatory agencies and legislative bodies relating to our operations, including those involving power generators, batteries, and fuel storage to support colocation infrastructure. While we believe that our operations are in substantial compliance with environmental, health and human safety laws and regulations, as an owner or operator of property and in connection with the current and historical use of hazardous materials and other operations at its sites, we could incur significant costs, including fines, penalties and other sanctions, cleanup costs and third-party claims for property damages or personal injuries, as a result of violations of or liabilities under environmental laws and regulations. Fuel storage tanks are present at many of our properties, and if releases were to occur, we may be liable for the costs of cleaning up resulting contamination. Some of our sites also have a history of previous commercial operations, including past underground storage tanks.

Some of the properties may contain asbestos-containing building materials. Environmental laws require that asbestos-containing building materials be properly managed and maintained, and may impose fines and penalties on building owners or operators for failure to comply with these requirements.

Environmental consultants have conducted, as appropriate, Phase I or similar non-intrusive environmental site assessments on recently acquired properties and if appropriate, additional environmental inquiries and assessments on recently acquired properties. Nonetheless, we may acquire or develop sites in the future with unknown environmental conditions from historical operations. Although we are not aware of any sites at which we currently have material remedial obligations, the imposition of remedial obligations as a result of spill or the discovery of contaminants in the future could result in significant additional costs to us.

Our operations also require us to obtain permits and/or other governmental approvals and to develop response plans in connection with the use of our generators or other operations. These requirements could restrict our operations or delay the development of data centers in the future. In addition, from time to time, federal, state or local government regulators enact new or revise existing legislation or regulations that could affect us, either beneficially or adversely. As a result, we could incur significant costs in complying with environmental laws or regulations that are promulgated in the future.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is an important aspect of our business, and we actively seek protection for our intellectual property. To establish and protect our proprietary rights, we rely upon a combination of patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright laws. We also utilize contractual means such as confidentiality agreements, licenses and intellectual property assignment agreements. We maintain a robust policy requiring our employees, contractors, consultants and other third parties to enter into confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements to control access to our proprietary information. These laws, procedures and restrictions provide only limited protection, and any of our intellectual property rights may be challenged, invalidated, circumvented, infringed or misappropriated. Furthermore, the laws of certain countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and we therefore may be unable to protect our proprietary technology in certain jurisdictions.

As of December 31, 2019, we have 22 granted or allowed U.S. patents and patent applications by the United States Patent and Trademark Office comprising 379 granted or allowed claims. We also have 22 pending U.S. patent applications comprising 312 patent pending claims. The first of our patents begin expiring on or around June 13, 2028 subject to our ability to extend the term under applicable law. In addition to capturing additional innovations and inventions generated by us, we continually review our development efforts to assess the existence and patentability of new intellectual property. We actively pursue the registration of our domain names, trademarks and service marks in the United States, including new generic top-level domains, and in certain locations outside the United States. To protect our brand, we file trademark registrations in some international jurisdictions, and

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actively monitor online activities of others. As of December 31, 2019, we also had more than 190 trademark class registrations, more than 235 trademark class applications for more than 430 trademarks in the United States, and over 50 pending and registered trademarks in foreign countries. We have also registered more than 1,050 domain names, including www.switch.com, www.switch.net, and www.switch.org.

We have engaged in limited licensing of our intellectual property and there is the potential to further monetize our intellectual property in this manner in the future. Currently, we deploy our intellectual property for our own benefit and leverage our registrations to prevent mimicry by others.

Our Portfolio
    
The following chart provides various metrics relative to our portfolio as of December 31, 2019:
Campus(1) 
 
Year 
Operational
 
Gross Square Feet (up to)(2)
 
Utilization % - By Campus(3)
 
Utilization % - By Open Sector(3)
 
Power Capacity
(up to)(4)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The Core Campus(5)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current: 9 Facilities(6)
 
2003-2019
 
2,340,000
 
90%
 
94%
 
315 MW
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The Citadel Campus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current: TAHOE RENO 1
 
2016
 
1,360,000
 
44%
 
75%
 
130 MW
Future: 7 Facilities
 
2021+
 
5,890,000
 
 
 
 
 
520 MW
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The Pyramid Campus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current: Switch PYRAMID
 
2016
 
430,000
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Office)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
220,000
 
58%
 
97%
 
10 MW
 
 
 
 
(Data Center)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Future: 2 Facilities
 
2021+
 
940,000
 
 
 
 
 
100 MW
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The Keep Campus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Future(7)
 
2020+
 
1,100,000
 
 
 
 
 
110 MW
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 U.S. Total (Current)
 
 
 
4,350,000
 
 
 
 
 
455 MW
 U.S. Total (Future)
 
 
 
7,930,000
 
 
 
 
 
730 MW
________________________________________
(1)
SUPERNAP International has also deployed two additional data centers in Milan, Italy and Bangkok, Thailand that collectively provide up to approximately 904,000 GSF of space, with up to 100 MW of power available to these facilities. We hold a 50% ownership interest in SUPERNAP International.
(2)
Estimated square footage of all enclosed space at full build out.
(3)
Utilization numbers are based on available cabinets. The Citadel Campus and The Pyramid Campus opened in the second half of 2016 and are in the first phase of development. Additional capital investment will be required to reach full build out.
(4)
Defined as total power delivered to the data center at full build out.
(5)
We lease a data center building and the underlying land for three of our data centers at The Core Campus that have non-cancellable terms expiring through 2066.
(6)
Current facilities at The Core Campus include LAS VEGAS 2, LAS VEGAS 4, LAS VEGAS 5, LAS VEGAS 7, LAS VEGAS 8, LAS VEGAS 9, LAS VEGAS 10, LAS VEGAS 11 and LAS VEGAS 12.
(7)
Our first data center in The Keep Campus opened during the first quarter of 2020. This data center is designed to include up to approximately 310,000 GSF of space and have up to 35 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facility.
Organizational Structure and Corporate Information
Switch, Inc. is a Nevada corporation formed on June 13, 2017 in connection with our IPO. We are a holding company and our principal asset is our equity interest in Switch, Ltd. Our principal executive offices are located at 7135 S. Decatur Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89118, and our telephone number is (702) 444-4111. Our website address is www.switch.com.
    
As of December 31, 2019, we owned 37.8% of Switch, Ltd. and the noncontrolling interest holders owned the remaining 62.2% of Switch, Ltd.


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Although we have a minority economic interest in Switch, Ltd., we have the sole voting interest in, and control the management of, Switch, Ltd. Accordingly, we consolidate the financial results of Switch, Ltd. and report a noncontrolling interest on our consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss), representing the portion of net income or loss and comprehensive income or loss attributable to the other members of Switch, Ltd.

Additional Information
We make available free of charge on our website at investors.switch.com our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Proxy Statements on Schedule 14A and amendments to those materials filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such materials with, or furnish it to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The information found on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, nor does it form a part of, this Form 10‑K, or any other document that we file with the SEC.
Item 1A.
Risk Factors.
Investing in our Class A common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information included in this Form 10-K, including “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of the Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and the related notes. We cannot assure you that any of the events discussed below will not occur. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks or uncertainties. In that case, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. All forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf are qualified by the risks described below.
Risks Related to Our Business
A slowdown in the demand for data center resources and other market and economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on us.
Adverse developments in the data center market or in the industries in which our customers operate could lead to a decrease in the demand for data center resources, which could have a material adverse effect on us. We face risks including:
a decline in the technology industry, such as a decrease in the use of mobile or web-based commerce, business layoffs or downsizing, relocation of businesses, increased costs of complying with existing or new government regulations and other factors;
a slowdown in the growth of the Internet generally as a medium for commerce and communication;
a downturn in the market for data center space generally, which could be caused by an oversupply of or reduced demand for data center space;
any transition by our customers of data center storage from third-party providers like us to customer-owned and operated facilities;
the rapid development of new technologies or the adoption of new industry standards that render our or our customers’ current products and services obsolete or unmarketable and, in the case of our customers, that contribute to a downturn in their businesses, increasing the likelihood of a default under their service agreements or that they become insolvent;
the migration from colocation data centers to the public cloud; and
technological advancements that result in less data center space being required.
To the extent that any of these or other adverse conditions occurs, they are likely to impact market demand and pricing for our services.
Additionally, we and our customers are affected by general business and economic conditions in the United States and globally. These conditions include short-term and long-term interest rates, inflation, money supply, political issues, legislative and regulatory changes, fluctuations in both debt and equity capital markets and broad trends in industry and finance, all of which are beyond our control. Macroeconomic conditions that affect the economy and the economic outlook of the United States and the rest of the world could adversely affect our customers and vendors, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

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Any inability to manage our growth could disrupt our business and reduce our profitability.
We have experienced significant growth in recent years. Our annual revenue grew from $265.9 million in 2015 to $462.3 million in 2019. Our rapid growth has placed, and will continue to place, significant demands on our management and our administrative, operational and financial systems. Continued expansion increases the challenges we face in:
managing a large and growing customer base;
obtaining suitable land to build new data centers;
establishing new operations at additional data centers and maintaining efficient use of the data center facilities we operate;
expanding our service portfolio to cover a wider range of services;
creating and capitalizing on economies of scale;
obtaining additional capital to meet our future capital needs;
recruiting, training and retaining a sufficient number of skilled technical, sales and management personnel;
maintaining effective oversight over personnel and multiple data center locations;
coordinating work among sites and project teams; and
developing and improving our internal systems, particularly for managing our continually expanding business operations.
If we fail to manage the growth of our operations effectively, our businesses and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.
Our operating results may fluctuate.
We have experienced fluctuations in our results of operations on a quarterly and annual basis. The fluctuations in our operating results may cause the market price of our Class A common stock to be volatile. We may experience significant fluctuations in our operating results in the foreseeable future due to a variety of factors, including:
the timing and magnitude of depreciation and interest expense or other expenses related to the acquisition, purchase or construction of additional data centers or the upgrade of existing data centers;
demand for space, power and services at our data centers;
changes in general economic conditions, such as an economic downturn, or specific market conditions in the telecommunications and internet industries, both of which may have an impact on our customer base;
the duration of the sales cycle for our business offerings;
the timing and logistics required for customer implementation of new programs such as our hybrid cloud solution;
acquisitions or dispositions we may make or be a part of;
the financial condition and credit risk of our customers;
the provision of customer discounts and credits;
the mix of current and proposed products and offerings and the gross margins associated with our products and offerings;
the timing required for new and future data centers to open or become fully utilized;
competition in the markets in which we operate;
conditions related to international operations;
increasing repair and maintenance expenses in connection with our data centers;
lack of available capacity in our existing data centers to generate new revenue or delays in opening new or acquired data centers that delay our ability to generate new revenue in markets which have otherwise reached capacity;

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the timing and magnitude of other operating expenses, including taxes, expenses related to the expansion of sales, marketing, operations and acquisitions, if any, of complementary businesses and assets;
the cost and availability of adequate public utilities, including power;
changes in employee stock-based compensation;
overall inflation;
increasing interest expense due to any increases in interest rates and/or potential additional debt financings;
changes in our tax planning strategies or failure to realize anticipated benefits from such strategies;
changes in income tax benefit or expense; and
changes in or new accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) as periodically released by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Any of the foregoing factors, or other factors discussed elsewhere in this report, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Although we have experienced recent revenue growth, this growth rate is not necessarily indicative of future operating results. We may not be able to generate net income on a quarterly or annual basis in the future. In addition, a relatively large portion of our expenses is fixed in the short term, particularly with respect to lease and personnel expenses, depreciation and amortization and interest expenses. Therefore, our results of operations are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in revenue. As such, comparisons to prior reporting periods should not be relied upon as indications of our future performance, and our results of operations for any quarter may not be indicative of the results that may be achieved for a full fiscal year. In addition, our operating results in one or more reporting periods may fail to meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors.
The data center business is capital-intensive, and our capacity to generate capital may be insufficient to meet our anticipated capital requirements. Failure to obtain the necessary capital when needed may force us to delay, limit or terminate our expansion efforts or other operations.
The costs of constructing, developing, operating and maintaining data centers and growing our operations are substantial. While we strive to match the growth of our facilities to the demand for services, we still must spend significant amounts before we receive any revenue. Moreover, the anticipated demand may not materialize and we could be left with over-capacity. In addition, we may encounter development delays, excess development costs, or delays in developing space for our customers. Moreover, the costs of constructing, developing, operating and maintaining data centers and growing our operations may increase in the future, which may make it more difficult for us to expand our business and to operate our data centers profitably. We are required to fund the costs of constructing, developing, operating and maintaining our data centers and growing our operations with cash. We may also need to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings in the future in order to meet our operating and capital needs. Additional debt or equity financing may not be available when needed or, if available, may not be available on satisfactory terms. Our access to external sources of capital depends, in part, on general economic and financial market conditions, the market’s perception of our growth potential, our then current debt level, our historical and expected future earnings, cash flow and cash distributions and the market price per share of our common stock. In addition, our ability to access additional capital may be limited by the terms of our existing indebtedness. Our inability to generate sufficient cash from operations or to obtain additional debt or equity financing may require us to prioritize projects or curtail capital expenditures and could adversely affect our results of operations. If we cannot generate sufficient capital to meet our anticipated capital requirements, our financial condition, business expansion and future prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
If we raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or equity-linked securities, our existing stockholders could suffer significant dilution in their percentage ownership of our company, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of holders of our Class A common stock. In addition, any debt financing that we may obtain in the future could have restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions.

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Our success depends on our ability to license the space in our existing data centers. The failure to license the space in our data centers may harm our growth prospects, future business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our growth depends on our ability to license the space in our existing data centers. We may not be able to attract customers for the space in our data centers for a number of reasons, including if we:
fail to provide competitive pricing terms;
provide space that is deemed by existing and potential customers to be inferior to those of our competitors, based on factors, including available power, preferred design features, security considerations, location and connectivity; or
are unable to provide services that our existing and potential customers desire.
If we are unable to license available space on a timely basis or at favorable pricing terms, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and growth prospects.
We face risks associated with having a long selling and implementation cycle for our services that requires us to make significant time and resource commitments prior to recognizing revenue for those services.
We often have a long selling cycle for our largest transactions, which can range from a few months to up to a year or more. This can require our customers and us to invest significant capital, human resources and time prior to receiving any revenue. A customer’s decision to utilize our colocation services or our other services often involves time-consuming contract negotiations and substantial due diligence on the part of the customer regarding the adequacy of our infrastructure and attractiveness of our resources and services. Macroeconomic conditions, including economic and market downturns, may further impact this long sales cycle by making it difficult for customers to accurately forecast and plan future business activities. This could cause customers to slow spending or delay decision-making on our products and services, which would delay and lengthen our sales cycle. Furthermore, we may expend significant time and resources in pursuing a particular sale or customer, and we do not recognize revenue for our services until we provide the services under the terms of the applicable contract. Our efforts in pursuing a particular sale or customer may not be successful, and we may not always have sufficient capital on hand to satisfy our working capital needs between the date on which we sign an agreement with a new customer and when we first receive revenue for services delivered to the customer. If our efforts in pursuing sales and customers are unsuccessful, or our cash on hand is insufficient to cover our working capital needs over the course of our long selling cycle, our financial condition could be negatively affected.
Our outstanding indebtedness may limit our operational and financial flexibility.
As of December 31, 2019, we had total indebtedness of $751.4 million under our credit facilities (net of debt issuance costs) and we had $330.0 million in availability under our revolving credit facility. Our leveraged position could have important consequences, including:
impairing our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or general corporate purposes;
requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our operating cash flow to paying principal and interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the funds available for operations;
limiting our ability to grow and make capital expenditures due to the financial covenants contained in our debt arrangements;
impairing our ability to adjust rapidly to changing market conditions, invest in new or developing technologies, or take advantage of significant business opportunities that may arise;
making us more vulnerable if a general economic downturn occurs or if our business experiences difficulties; and
making us more vulnerable to increases in interest rates because of the variable interest rates on our borrowings.
Additionally, our credit facilities are secured by a first-priority security interest in substantially all of the assets of Switch, Ltd. and its wholly-owned material domestic subsidiaries. Our amended and restated credit agreement also contains a number of covenants that, among other things, restrict our ability to incur additional debt, incur additional liens or contingent liabilities, make investments in other persons or property, or sell or dispose of our assets.

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We may not generate sufficient cash flow to meet our debt service and working capital requirements, which may expose us to the risk of default under our debt obligations.
We will need to implement our business strategy successfully on a timely basis to meet our debt service and working capital needs. We may not successfully implement our business strategy, and even if we do, we may not realize the anticipated results of our strategy and generate insufficient operating cash flow to meet our debt service obligations and working capital needs.
In the event our cash flow is inadequate to meet our debt service and working capital requirements, we may be required, to the extent permitted under our amended and restated credit agreement and any other credit facilities, to seek additional financing in the debt or equity markets, refinance or restructure all or a portion of our indebtedness, sell selected assets or reduce or delay planned capital or operating expenditures. However, any insufficient cash flow may make it more difficult for us to obtain financing on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. We could also face substantial liquidity problems. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow or otherwise obtain funds needed to make required payments under our indebtedness, or if we breach any covenants under our indebtedness, we would be in default under its terms and the holders of such indebtedness may be able to accelerate the maturity of such indebtedness, which could cause defaults under our other indebtedness.
Changes in the method of determining the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Certain of our financial obligations and instruments, including our credit facility and interest rate swap agreements, are calculated by reference to LIBOR. LIBOR is the subject of recent national, international and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. These reforms and other pressures may cause LIBOR to disappear entirely or to perform differently than in the past. The potential consequences cannot be fully predicted and may result in, among other things, increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for instruments that currently rely on LIBOR, increased borrowing costs, reductions in the value of certain instruments or the effectiveness of related transactions such as interest rate swaps, difficulty and costly processes to amend applicable contracts and instruments and difficulties, complications or delays in connection with future financing and hedging efforts. Any of these consequences could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows, and liquidity.
Increased power costs and limited availability of power resources may adversely affect our results of operations.
We are a large consumer of power. The cost of power accounts for a significant portion of our cost of revenue. We require power supply to provide many services we offer, such as powering and cooling our customers’ servers and network equipment and operating critical data center plant and equipment infrastructure.
The amount of power our customers require may increase as they adopt new technologies, such as virtualization of hardware resources. As a result, the average amount of power used per server may increase, which in turn would increase power consumption required to cool the data center facilities. Pursuant to our service agreements, we provide our customers with a committed level of power supply availability. Historically, our energy costs have been seasonal, with increased costs primarily in the summer months that have affected our results of operations. Additionally, we have also committed to operating our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy. While we are currently able to obtain 100% clean and renewable energy at costs that we believe are reasonable, a significant increase in the cost of clean and renewable energy or a decrease in its availability could have materially adverse consequences. These consequences could include placing us at a cost disadvantage if we are forced to increase our fees for providing, or damaging our brand and reputation if we are unable to provide, 100% clean and renewable energy. Although we aim to improve the energy efficiency of the data center facilities that we operate, there can be no assurance such data center facilities will be able to deliver sufficient power to meet the growing needs of our customers. Moreover, we may not be able to address those customers’ needs with 100% clean and renewable energy. We may lose customers or our customers may reduce the services purchased from us due to increased power costs and limited availability of power resources, including clean and renewable power resources, or we may incur costs for data center space which we cannot utilize, which would reduce our revenue and have a material and adverse effect on our cost of revenue and results of operations.
We attempt to manage our power resources and limit exposure to system downtime due to power outages from the electric grid by having redundant power feeds from the grid and by using backup generators and battery power. However, these protections may not limit our exposure to power shortages or outages entirely. Any system downtime resulting from insufficient power resources or power outages could damage our reputation and lead us to lose current and potential customers, which would harm our financial condition and results of operations.

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We generate significant revenue from data centers located in one location and a significant disruption to this location could materially and adversely affect our operations.
We generate significant revenue from data centers located at The Core Campus in Las Vegas, and a significant disruption to this location could materially and adversely affect our operations. While the Pyramid Campus in Grand Rapids and The Citadel Campus near Reno opened in 2016, both locations are in development and will require additional capital investment to reach full build out and the revenue contribution from these locations is relatively small in comparison to The Core Campus in Las Vegas. Our data centers located in Las Vegas comprised 88.6% of our revenue during the year ended December 31, 2019. The occurrence of a catastrophic event, or a prolonged disruption in this region could materially and adversely affect our operations.
Any failure in the critical systems of the data center facilities we operate or services we provide could lead to disruptions in our customers’ businesses and could harm our reputation and result in financial penalty and legal liabilities, which would reduce our revenue and have a material adverse effect on our results of operation.
The critical systems of the data center facilities we operate and the services we provide are subject to failure. Any failure in the critical systems of any data center facility we operate or services that we provide, including a breakdown in critical plant, equipment or services, such as the cooling equipment, generators, backup batteries, routers, switches, or other equipment, power supplies, or network connectivity, whether or not within our control, could result in service interruptions and data losses for our customers as well as equipment damage, which could significantly disrupt the normal business operations of our customers and harm our reputation and reduce our revenue. Any failure or downtime in one of the data center facilities that we operate could affect many of our customers. The total destruction or severe impairment of any of the data center facilities we operate could result in significant downtime of our services and loss of customer data. Since our ability to attract and retain customers depends on our ability to provide highly reliable service, even minor interruptions in our service could harm our reputation and cause us to incur financial penalties. The services we provide are subject to failures resulting from numerous factors, including:
power loss;
equipment failure;
human error or accidents;
theft, sabotage and vandalism;
failure by us or our suppliers to provide adequate service or maintenance to our equipment;
network connectivity downtime and fiber cuts;
security breaches to our infrastructure;
improper building maintenance by us;
physical, electronic and cyber security breaches;
fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood and other natural disasters;
extreme temperatures;
water damage;
public health emergencies, including pandemics such as the recent spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus); and
terrorism.
We provide service level commitments to our customers. As a result, service interruptions or equipment failures in our data centers could result in credits to these customers. We cannot provide assurances that our customers will accept these credits as compensation for service interruptions and equipment failures. Service interruptions and equipment failures may also damage our brand image and reputation. Significant or frequent service interruptions could reduce the confidence of our customers and cause our customers to terminate or not renew their licenses. In addition, we may be unable to attract new customers if we have a reputation for significant or frequent service disruptions or equipment failures in our data centers.
Moreover, service interruptions and equipment failures may expose us to legal liability. As our services are critical to many of our customers’ business operations, any disruption in our services could result in lost profits or other indirect or consequential damages to our customers. Although our customer contracts typically contain provisions

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that limit our liability for breach of the agreement, including failing to meet our service level commitments, there can be no assurance that a court would enforce any contractual limitations on our liability in the event that a customer brings a lawsuit against us as the result of a service interruption that it may ascribe to us. The outcome of any such lawsuit would depend on the specific facts of the case and any legal and policy considerations that we may not be able to mitigate. In such cases, we could be liable for substantial damage award which may have a material adverse effect on our revenue.
Delays in the expansion of existing data centers or the construction of new data centers could involve significant risks to our business.
In order to meet customer demand and the continued growth of our business, we need to expand existing data centers or obtain suitable land to build new data centers. Expansion of existing data centers and construction of new data centers are currently underway or being contemplated, and such expansion and construction requires us to carefully select and rely on the experience of one or more designers, general contractors and subcontractors during the design and construction process. If a designer or contractor experiences financial or other problems during the design or construction process, we could experience significant delays and incur increased costs to complete the projects, resulting in negative impacts on our results of operations.
In addition, we need to work closely with the local power suppliers, and sometimes local governments, where we propose to locate our data centers. Delays in actions that require the assistance of such third parties, or delays in receiving required permits and approvals from such parties, may also affect the speed with which we complete data center projects or result in their not being completed at all. We have experienced such delays in receiving approvals and permits or in actions to be taken by third parties in the past and may experience them again in the future.
If we experience significant delays due to weather or supply of power required to support the data center expansion or new construction, either during the design or construction phases, the progress of the data center expansion and construction could deviate from our original plans, which could cause material and negative effects to our revenue growth, profitability and results of operations.
We are continuing to invest in our expansion efforts but may not have sufficient customer demand in the future to realize expected returns on these investments.
We expect to continue to expand our data center footprint. In connection with our expansion plans, we may be required to commit significant operational and financial resources, but there can be no guarantee we will have sufficient customer demand in those markets to support data centers once built. This risk may be greater in a market where we have not operated previously. Once development of a data center facility is complete, we incur certain operating expenses even if there are no customers occupying any space. Consequently, if any of our properties have significant vacancies for an extended period of time, our results of operations and business and financial condition will be affected adversely, the impact of which could be material. In addition, unanticipated technological changes could affect customer requirements for data centers, and we may not have built such requirements into our new data centers. If any of these developments or contingencies were to occur, it could make it difficult for us to realize expected or reasonable returns on our investments.
If we fail to protect our proprietary intellectual property rights adequately, our competitive position could be impaired, and we may lose valuable assets, generate reduced revenue and incur costly litigation to protect our rights.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect our proprietary intellectual property rights, including certain methodologies, practices, tools, technologies and technical expertise we use in designing, developing, implementing and maintaining applications and processes used in providing our services. We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, trade secrets and other intellectual property laws, non-disclosure agreements with our employees, consultants, customers and other relevant persons, and other measures to protect our intellectual property, including our brand identity. However, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property may be inadequate, and we may choose not to pursue or maintain protection for our intellectual property in the United States or foreign jurisdictions. We will not be able to protect our intellectual property if we are unable to enforce our rights or if we do not detect unauthorized use of our intellectual property. Despite our precautions, it may be possible for unauthorized third parties to copy our technology and use information that we regard as proprietary to create technology that competes with ours. In addition, the laws of some countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights in some foreign countries may be inadequate. To the extent we expand our international activities, our exposure to unauthorized copying and use of our technologies and proprietary information may increase. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our technology and intellectual property.

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We rely in part on trade secrets, proprietary know-how and other confidential information to maintain our competitive position. Although we enter into non-disclosure and invention assignment agreements with our employees, enter into non-disclosure agreements with our customers, consultants and other parties with whom we have strategic relationships and business alliances and enter into intellectual property assignment agreements with our consultants and vendors, no assurance can be given that these agreements will be effective in controlling access to and distribution of our technology and proprietary information. In addition, these agreements do not prevent our competitors from independently developing technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to our products.
To protect our intellectual property rights, we may be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect these rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights and to protect our trade secrets. Such litigation could be costly, time consuming and distracting to management and could result in the impairment or loss of portions of our intellectual property. Furthermore, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights may be met with defenses, counterclaims and countersuits attacking the validity and enforceability of our intellectual property rights. Our inability to protect our proprietary technology, as well as any costly litigation or diversion of our management’s attention and resources, could disrupt our business, as well as have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may in the future be subject to intellectual property disputes, which are costly to defend and could harm our business and operating results.
We may from time to time face allegations that we have infringed the patents, copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property rights of third parties, including from our competitors. We may be unaware of the intellectual property rights that others may claim cover some or all of our technology or services. Patent and other intellectual property litigation may be protracted and expensive, and the results are difficult to predict and may require us to stop using certain technologies or offering certain services or may result in significant damage awards or settlement costs.
Even if these matters do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor or without significant cash settlements, these matters, and the time and resources necessary to litigate or resolve them, could divert the time and resources of our management team and harm our business, our operating results and our reputation.
We rely on the proper and efficient functioning of computer and data-processing systems, and a large-scale malfunction could have a material adverse effect on us.
Our ability to keep our data centers operating depends on the proper and efficient functioning of computer and data-processing systems. Since computer and data-processing systems are susceptible to malfunctions and interruptions, including those due to equipment damage, power outages, computer viruses and a range of other hardware, software and network problems, we cannot guarantee that our data centers will not experience such malfunctions or interruptions in the future. Additionally, expansions and developments in the products and services that we offer could increasingly add a measure of complexity that may overburden our data center and network resources and human capital, making service interruptions and failures more likely. A significant or large-scale malfunction or interruption of one or more of any of our data centers’ computer or data-processing systems could adversely affect our ability to keep such data centers running efficiently. If a malfunction results in a wider or sustained disruption to business at a property, it could have a material adverse effect on us.
We may be vulnerable to security breaches, including cyber security breaches, which could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We face risks associated with unauthorized access to our computer systems, loss or destruction of data, computer viruses, malware, distributed denial-of-service attacks, or other malicious activities. These threats may result from human error, equipment failure, or fraud or malice on the part of employees or third parties. A party who is able to compromise the security measures on our networks, or the systems of our third-party service providers, could misappropriate either our proprietary information or the personal information of our customers or our employees, or cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations or our customers’ operations. Additionally, we provide the infrastructure and physical security for our customers’ IT equipment, which often contains highly confidential and mission critical data. A party who is able to compromise the physical security measures protecting our data center facilities could misappropriate our or our customers’ proprietary information or cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations. As we provide assurances to our customers that we provide the highest level of security, such a compromise could be particularly harmful to our brand and reputation and result in potential liability. We may be required to expend significant capital and resources to protect against such threats or to alleviate problems caused by breaches in security. As techniques used to breach security change frequently and are often not recognized until launched against a target, we may not be able to implement new security measures in a timely manner or, if and when implemented, we may not be certain whether these measures could be circumvented. Any breaches that may

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occur could expose us to increased risk of lawsuits, regulatory penalties, loss of existing or potential customers, harm to our reputation and increases in our security costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, any assertions of alleged security breaches or systems failure made against us, whether true or not, could harm our reputation, cause us to incur substantial legal fees and have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations. Whether or not any such assertion actually proceeds to litigation, we may be required to devote significant management time and attention to its resolution (through litigation, settlement or otherwise), which would detract from our management’s ability to focus on our business. Any such resolution could involve the payment of damages or expenses by us, which may be significant. In addition, any such resolution could involve our agreement with terms that restrict the operation of our business.
If our or our customers’ proprietary intellectual property or confidential information is misappropriated or disclosed by us or our employees in violation of applicable laws and contractual agreements, we could be exposed to protracted and costly legal proceedings, lose customers and our business could be seriously harmed.
Our employees could disclose or use our technical knowledge, practices or procedures without authorization. We have entered into confidentiality agreements with our employees that contain nondisclosure covenants that survive indefinitely as to our trade secrets. Pursuant to these confidentiality agreements, our employees are required to assign any of their inventions that are developed or reduced to practice during their employment with us that pertain to any of our lines of business activity, that are aided by the use of our time, materials or facilities, or that relate to any of their work with us. However, we may not be able to enforce the confidentiality agreements we have with our personnel.
Additionally, our customers occasionally provide us and our employees access to proprietary intellectual property and confidential information, including technology, software products, business policies and plans, trade secrets and personal data. Many of our customer contracts require us not to use or disclose such intellectual property or information and to indemnify our customers for any loss they may suffer as a result of any unauthorized use or disclosure. We use security technologies and other methods to prevent employees from making unauthorized copies, or using or disclosing such intellectual property and confidential information without authorization. The confidentiality agreements we enter into with our employees limit access to and distribution of our customers’ intellectual property and other confidential information as well as our own. However, these steps may not be adequate to safeguard our and our customers’ intellectual property and confidential information. Moreover, some of our customer contracts do not include any limitation on our liability with respect to breaches of our obligation to keep the intellectual property or confidential information we receive from them confidential. In addition, we may not always be aware of intellectual property registrations or applications relating to source codes, software products or other intellectual property belonging to our customers. As a result, if we or our employees misappropriate our customers’ proprietary rights, our customers may consider us liable for such act and seek damages and compensation from us.
Assertions of infringement of intellectual property or misappropriation of confidential information against us, if successful, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Protracted litigation could also result in existing or potential customers deferring or limiting their purchase or use of our services until resolution of such litigation. Even if such assertions against us are unsuccessful, they may cause us to lose existing and future business and incur reputational harm and substantial legal fees.
A significant portion of our revenue is highly dependent on a limited number of customers, and the loss of, or any significant decrease in business from, these customers could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our top 10 customers accounted for approximately 36.5% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019.
A number of factors could cause us to lose customers. For instance, because many of our contracts involve services that are mission-critical to our customers, any failure by us to meet a customer’s expectations could result in cancellation or non-renewal of the contract. Our service agreements usually allow our customers to terminate their agreements with us before the end of the contract period under certain specified circumstances, including our failure to deliver services as required under such agreements, and in some cases without cause as long as sufficient notice is given. In addition, our customers may decide to reduce spending on our services or demand price reductions due to a challenging economic environment or other factors, both internal and external, relating to their business such as corporate restructuring or changing their outsourcing strategy by moving more facilities in-house or outsourcing to other service providers. In addition, our reliance on any individual customer for a significant portion of our revenue may give that customer a degree of pricing leverage against us when negotiating contracts and terms of services with us.

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The loss of any of our major customers, or a significant decrease in the extent of the services that they outsource to us or the price at which we sell our services to them, could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, if any customer becomes a debtor in a case under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, applicable bankruptcy laws may limit our ability to terminate our contract with such customer solely because of the bankruptcy or recover any amounts owed to us under our agreements with such customer. In addition, applicable bankruptcy laws could allow the customer to reject and terminate its agreement with us, with limited ability for us to collect the full amount of our damages. Our business could be adversely affected if any of our significant customers were to become bankrupt or insolvent.
Our customer contract commitments are subject to reduction and potential cancellation.
Some of our customer contracts allow for early termination, subject to payment of specified costs and penalties, which may be less than the revenue we would expect to receive under such contracts. Our customer contract commitments could significantly decrease if any of the customer contracts are terminated either pursuant to, or in violation of, the terms of such contract. In addition, our customer contract commitments during a particular future period may be reduced for reasons outside of our customers’ control, such as general current economic conditions. If our customer contract commitments are significantly reduced, our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Even if our current and future customers have entered into a binding contract with us, they may choose to terminate such contract prior to the expiration of its terms. Any penalty for early termination may not adequately compensate us for the time and resources we have expended in connection with such contract, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.
Our customer base may decline if our customers or potential customers develop their own data centers or expand their own existing data centers.
Some of our customers have in the past, and may in the future, develop their own data center facilities. Other customers with their own existing data centers may choose to expand their data center operations in the future. One of our business strategies is to sell or lease our single-user data centers. In the event that any of our key customers were to develop or expand their own data centers, we may lose business, fail to execute on our strategy of our single-user data centers or face pressure as to the pricing of our services. In addition, if we fail to offer services that are cost-competitive and operationally advantageous as compared with services provided in-house by our customers, we may lose customers or fail to attract new customers. If we lose a customer, there is no assurance that we would be able to replace that customer at the same or a higher rate, or at all, and our business and results of operations would suffer.
Our churn rate may increase or we may be unable to achieve high contract renewal rates.
We seek to renew customer contracts when those contracts are due for renewal. We endeavor to provide high levels of customer service, support and satisfaction to maintain long-term customer relationships and to secure high rates of contract renewals for our services. Nevertheless, we may not be able to renew service contracts with our existing customers or re-commit space relating to expired service contracts to new customers if our current customers do not renew their contracts. In the event of a customer’s termination or non-renewal of expired contracts, our ability to enter into service contracts so that new or other existing customers utilize the expired existing space in a timely manner will affect our results of operations.
If we do not succeed in attracting new customers for our services and growing revenue from existing customers, we may not achieve our anticipated revenue growth.
Our ability to attract new customers and grow revenue from existing customers depends on a number of factors, including our ability to offer high quality services at competitive prices, the strength of our competitors and the capabilities of our marketing and sales teams to attract new customers. If we fail to attract new customers or grow revenue from existing customers, we may not be able to grow our revenue as quickly as we anticipate or at all.
The migration from colocation data centers to the public cloud may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
In response to rapidly growing demand for public cloud solutions, we have introduced a hybrid cloud ecosystem service with the anticipation of a continuously strong demand for colocation data centers. If our assumptions prove to be incorrect, the migration from colocation data centers to the public cloud could harm our financial condition and results of operations.

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Unanticipated changes in the tax rates and policies of the states in which we operate could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
We strategically choose the locations of our U.S. campuses. One of the factors we consider is the favorable tax rates and policies that provide zero or low-tax environments for our customers to deploy IT equipment. If the tax rates and policies of the states in which our data centers are located expose our customers to higher taxes, our data centers may become less attractive to certain of our existing and potential customers, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
Future consolidation and competition in our customers’ industries could reduce the number of our existing and potential customers and make us dependent on a more limited number of customers.
Mergers or consolidations in our customers’ industries in the future could reduce the number of our existing and potential customers and make us dependent on a more limited number of customers. If our customers merge with or are acquired by other entities that are not our customers, they may discontinue or reduce the use of our data centers in the future. Additionally, some of our customers may compete with one another in various aspects of their businesses, which places additional competitive pressures on our customers. Any of these developments could have a material adverse effect on us.
We may not be able to compete effectively against our current and future competitors.
We offer a broad range of data center services and, as a result, we may compete with a wide range of data center service providers for some or all of the services we offer. We face competition from numerous developers, owners and operators in the data center industry, including cloud and managed service providers and REITs, some of which own or lease properties similar to ours, or may do so in the future, in the same submarkets in which our properties are located. In 2018, we introduced our new hybrid cloud solution to our existing customers, however, these customers may choose other cloud offerings and move workloads to cloud providers, which may reduce the services our customers obtain from us. Our current and future competitors may vary by size and service offerings and geographic presence. In addition, many data center companies are consolidating to create new companies with greater market power.
Competition is primarily centered on reputation and track record, quality and availability of data center space, quality of service, technical expertise, security, reliability, functionality, breadth and depth of services offered, geographic coverage, scale, financial strength and price. Some of our current and future competitors may have greater brand recognition, longer operating histories, stronger marketing, technical and financial resources and access to greater and less expensive power than we do. In addition, many companies in the industry are consolidating, which could further increase the market power of our competitors. As a result, some of our competitors may be able to:
offer space at pricing below current market rates or below the pricing we currently charge our customers;
bundle colocation services with other services or equipment they provide at reduced prices;
develop superior products or services, gain greater market acceptance and expand their service offerings more efficiently or rapidly;
adapt to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer requirements more quickly;
take advantage of acquisition and other opportunities more readily; and
adopt more aggressive pricing policies and devote greater resources to the promotion, marketing and sales of their services.
We operate in a competitive market, and we face pricing pressure for our services. Prices for our services are affected by a variety of factors, including supply and demand conditions and pricing pressures from our competitors. We may be required to lower our prices to remain competitive, which may decrease our margins and adversely affect our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
We have government customers, which subjects us to risks including early termination, audits, investigations, sanctions and penalties.
We derive some revenue from contracts with U.S., state and local governments. Some of these customers may terminate all or part of their contracts at any time, without cause. There is increased pressure for governments and their agencies to reduce spending. Some of our contracts at the state and local levels are subject to government funding authorizations, which may be adversely affected by a U.S. federal government shut-down or budget sequestration.

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Additionally, government contracts are generally subject to audits and investigations that could result in various civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contracts, refund of a portion of fees received, forfeiture of profits, suspension of payments, fines and suspensions or debarment from future government business.
If we are unable to adapt to evolving technologies and customer demands in a timely and cost-effective manner, our ability to sustain and grow our business may suffer.
The markets for the data centers we own and operate, as well as certain of the industries in which our customers operate, are characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, frequent new service introductions, shifting distribution channels and changing customer demands. As a result, our data center infrastructure may become less marketable due to demand for new processes and technologies, including, without limitation: (i) new processes to deliver power to, or eliminate heat from, IT equipment; (ii) customer demand for additional redundancy capacity; (iii) new technology that permits higher levels of critical load and heat removal than our data centers are currently designed to provide; and (iv) an inability of the power supply to support new, updated or upgraded technology. In addition, the systems that connect our data centers to the Internet and other external networks may become insufficient, including with respect to latency, reliability and diversity of connectivity. We may not be able to adapt to changing technologies or meet customer demands for new processes or technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner, if at all, which would adversely impact our ability to sustain and grow our business.
In addition, new technologies have the potential to replace or provide lower cost alternatives to our services. The adoption of such new technologies could render some or all of our services obsolete or unmarketable. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify the emergence of all of these new service alternatives successfully, modify our services accordingly, or develop and bring new services to market in a timely and cost-effective manner to address these changes. If and when we do identify the emergence of new service alternatives and introduce new services to market, those new services may need to be made available at lower profit margins than our then-current services. Failure to provide services to compete with new technologies or the obsolescence of our services could lead us to lose current and potential customers or could cause us to incur substantial costs, which would harm our operating results and financial condition. Our introduction of new alternative services that have lower price points than our current offerings may also result in our existing customers switching to the lower cost products, which could reduce our revenue and have a material adverse effect on our results of operation.
Potential future regulations that apply to industries we serve may require customers in those industries to seek specific requirements from their data centers that we are unable to provide. These may include physical security requirements applicable to the defense industry and government contractors and privacy and security regulations applicable to the financial services and health care industries. If such regulations were adopted or such extra requirements demanded by certain customers, we could lose some customers or be unable to attract new customers in certain industries, which would have a material and adverse effect on our operations.
We depend on third parties to provide Internet, telecommunication and fiber optic network connectivity to our customers, and any delays or disruptions in service could have a material adverse effect on us.
Our products and infrastructure rely on third-party service providers. In particular, we depend on third parties to provide Internet, telecommunication and fiber optic network connectivity to the customers in our data centers, and we have no control over the reliability of the services provided by these suppliers. Our customers may in the future experience difficulties due to service failures unrelated to our systems and services. Any Internet, telecommunication or fiber optic network failures may result in significant loss of connectivity to our data centers. A significant loss of connectivity to our data centers could reduce the confidence of our customers and impair our ability to retain existing customers or attract new customers, which could have a material adverse effect on us.
Similarly, we depend upon the presence of Internet, telecommunications and fiber optic networks serving the locations of our data centers in order to attract and retain customers. The construction required to connect multiple carrier facilities to our data centers is complex, requiring a sophisticated redundant fiber network, and involves matters outside of our control, including regulatory requirements and the availability of construction resources. Each new data center that we develop requires significant amounts of capital for the construction and operation of a sophisticated redundant fiber network. We believe that the availability of carrier capacity affects our business and future growth. We cannot guarantee that any carrier will elect to offer its services within our data centers or that once a carrier has decided to provide connectivity to our data centers that it will continue to do so for any period of time. Furthermore, some carriers are experiencing business difficulties or have announced consolidations or mergers. As a result, some carriers may be forced to downsize or terminate connectivity within our data centers, which could adversely affect our customers and could have a material adverse effect on us.

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The occurrence of a catastrophic event or a prolonged disruption may exceed our insurance coverage by significant amounts.
Our operations are subject to hazards and risks normally associated with the daily operations of our data center facilities. Currently, we maintain various insurance policies for business interruption for lost profits, property and casualty, public liability, commercial employee insurance, worker’s compensation, personal property and auto liability. Our business interruption insurance for lost profits includes coverage for business interruptions, our property and casualty insurance includes coverage for equipment breakdowns and our commercial employee insurance includes employee group insurance. We are self-insured for medical insurance. We believe our insurance coverage adequately covers the risks of our daily business operations. However, our current insurance policies may be insufficient in the event of a prolonged or catastrophic event. The occurrence of any such event that is not entirely covered by our insurance policies may result in interruption of our operations and subject us to significant losses or liabilities and damage our reputation as a provider of business continuity services. In addition, any losses or liabilities that are not covered by our current insurance policies may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Environmental problems are possible and can be costly.
Environmental liabilities could arise on the land that we own or lease and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and performance. Federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment may require a current or previous owner or operator of real estate to investigate and remediate hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum product releases at or from the property. In addition, we could incur costs to comply with such laws and regulations, the violation of which could lead to substantial fines and penalties.
We may have to pay governmental entities or third parties for property damage and for investigation and remediation costs that they incurred in connection with any contamination at our current and former properties without regard to whether we knew of or caused the presence of the contaminants. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by these environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred.
Some of the properties may contain asbestos-containing building materials. Environmental laws require that asbestos-containing building materials be properly managed and maintained, and may impose fines and penalties on building owners or operators for failure to comply with these requirements.
Our leases for self-developed data centers could be terminated early and we may not be able to renew our existing leases and agreements on commercially acceptable terms or our rent or payment under the agreements could increase substantially in the future, which could materially and adversely affect our operations.
A few of our facilities are located on properties for which we have long term operating and finance leases. In some instances, we may elect to exercise an option to purchase the leased premises and facilities, or in other instances, elect to extend the term of certain leases, in each case, according to the terms and conditions under the relevant lease agreements. However, upon the expiration of such leases (including any extension terms), we may not be able to renew these leases on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. Even though the lessors for most of our data centers generally do not have the right of unilateral early termination unless they provide the required notice and opportunity to cure (as applicable), the lease may nonetheless be terminated early if we are in material breach of the lease agreements. We may assert claims for compensation against the landlords if they elect to terminate a lease agreement early and without due cause. If the leases for our data centers were terminated early prior to their expiration date, notwithstanding any compensation we may receive for early termination of such leases, or if we are not able to renew such leases, we may have to incur significant cost related to relocation. Our leased facilities are located in properties that are subject to master ground leases. If the landlords under such master ground leases elect to terminate the respective master leases in case of default or breach by the master lessees thereunder or otherwise pursuant to the terms and conditions of the relevant master lease, we may not be able to protect our leasehold interest, and may be ordered to vacate the affected premises. Any relocation could also affect our ability to provide continuous uninterrupted services to our customers and harm our reputation. As a result, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
The loss of one or more of our key personnel, or our failure to attract and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future, could seriously harm our business.
We depend to a significant degree on the continuous service and performance of Rob Roy and our experienced senior management team and other key personnel, any of whom could resign or be terminated for any reason at any time. Mr. Roy has been responsible for our company’s strategic vision and the development of our technology and business. If he stopped working for us for any reason, it is unlikely that we would be able to find a suitable

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replacement immediately. The loss of Mr. Roy, a member of our senior management team or any other key employee could disrupt our business operations and create uncertainty as we search for and integrate a replacement. If any member of our senior management or key employee leaves us to join a competitor or to form a competing company, any resulting loss of existing or potential customers to any such competitor could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we do not maintain key man life insurance for any of the senior members of our management team or our key personnel.
Competition for employees is intense, and we may not be able to attract and retain the qualified and skilled employees needed to support our business.
We believe our success depends on the efforts and talent of our employees, including data center design, construction management, operations, engineering, IT, risk management, and sales and marketing personnel. Our future success depends on our continued ability to attract, develop, motivate and retain qualified and skilled employees. Competition for highly skilled personnel is frequently intense. We may not be able to hire and retain these personnel at compensation levels consistent with our existing compensation and salary structure. Some of the companies with which we compete for experienced employees have greater resources than we have and may be able to offer more attractive terms of employment.
In addition, we invest significant time and expenses in training our employees, which increases their value to competitors who may seek to recruit them. If we fail to retain our employees, we could incur significant expenses in hiring and training their replacements, and the quality of our services and our ability to serve our customers could diminish, resulting in a material adverse effect to our business.
Uncertain economic environment may have an adverse impact on our business and financial condition.
Uncertain economic environment may have an adverse effect on our liquidity. While we believe we have a strong customer base, if market conditions change, some of our customers may have difficulty paying us and we may experience losses in our customer base and reductions in their commitments to us. We may also be required to make allowances for doubtful accounts and our results would be negatively impacted. Our sales cycle could also be lengthened if customers reduce spending on, or delay decision-making with respect to, our services, which could adversely affect our revenue growth and our ability to recognize revenue. We could also experience pricing pressure as a result of economic conditions if our competitors lower prices and attempt to lure away our customers with lower cost solutions. Finally, our ability to access the capital markets may be severely restricted at a time when we would like, or need, to do so, which could have an impact on our flexibility to pursue additional expansion opportunities and maintain our desired level of revenue growth in the future.
We have entered, and expect to continue to enter, into joint venture, strategic collaborations and other similar arrangements, and these activities involve risks and uncertainties. A failure of any such relationship could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We have entered, and expect to continue to enter, into joint venture, strategic collaborations and other similar arrangements. These activities involve risks and uncertainties, including the risk of the joint venture or applicable entity failing to satisfy its obligations, which may result in certain liabilities to us for guarantees and other commitments, the challenges in achieving strategic objectives and expected benefits of the business arrangement, the risk of conflicts arising between us and our partners and the difficulty of managing and resolving such conflicts, and the difficulty of managing or otherwise monitoring such business arrangements. A failure of our business relationships could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Our current international operations through our joint venture, or future international operations, may expose us to certain operating, legal and other risks, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our joint venture’s international operations, or any future international operations, may expose us to risks that we have not generally faced in the United States. These risks include:
challenges caused by distance, language, cultural and ethical differences and the competitive environment;
heightened risks of unethical, unfair or corrupt business practices, actual or claimed, in certain geographies and of improper or fraudulent sales arrangements that may impact financial results and result in restatements of, and irregularities in, financial statements;
foreign exchange restrictions and fluctuations in currency exchange rates, including as a result of the United Kingdom’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit);

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application of multiple and conflicting laws and regulations, including complications due to unexpected changes in foreign laws and regulatory requirements;
new and different sources of competition;
different pricing environments, longer sales cycles and longer accounts receivable payment cycles and collections issues;
management communication and integration problems resulting from cultural differences and geographic dispersion;
adverse tax consequences, including multiple and possibly overlapping tax structures, the complexities of foreign value-added tax systems, restrictions on the repatriation of earnings and changes in tax rates;
greater difficulty in enforcing contracts, accounts receivable collection and longer collection periods;
the uncertainty and limitation of protection for intellectual property rights in some countries;
increased financial accounting and reporting burdens and complexities;
lack of familiarity with local laws, customs and practices, and laws and business practices favoring local competitors or partners;
public health emergencies, including pandemics such as the recent spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) currently impacting European countries and elsewhere; and
political, social and economic instability abroad, terrorist attacks and security concerns in general.
The occurrence of any one of these risks could harm our international business and, consequently, our results of operations. Additionally, operating in international markets requires significant management attention and financial resources. We cannot be certain that the investment and additional resources required to operate in other countries will produce desired levels of revenue or profitability.
In addition, our agreement with our international joint venture partner limits our ability to engage in activities or transactions outside of the United States. Although we expressly retain the right to construct and license third parties to construct single-user data centers outside of the United States, we are required to grant our joint venture the reasonable opportunity to interact and reach an agreement with such customer to develop a colocation facility prior to concluding our agreement with such third party. Furthermore, in the event any such single-user data center outside the United States using our technology is made available to third parties as colocation space, such data center will be deemed a facility subject to our license agreement. We would then be required to make appropriate arrangements to acknowledge SUPERNAP International’s license rights in, and to, the technology for the multitenant data center. These limitations may prevent us from pursuing otherwise attractive and potentially lucrative international expansion opportunities.
Any difficulties in identifying and consummating future acquisitions, alliances or joint ventures may expose us to potential risks and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
We may seek to make strategic acquisitions and enter into alliances and joint ventures to further expand our business. If we are presented with appropriate opportunities, we may acquire additional businesses, services, resources, or assets, including data centers that are complementary to our primary business. Our integration of the acquired entities or assets into our business may not be successful and may not enable us to expand into new services, customer segments or operating locations as well as we expect. This would significantly affect the expected benefits of these acquisitions. Moreover, the integration of any acquired entities or assets into our operations could require significant attention from our management. The diversion of our management’s attention and any difficulties encountered in any integration process could have an adverse effect on our ability to manage our business. In addition, we may face challenges trying to integrate new operations, services and personnel with our existing operations. Our possible future acquisitions may also expose us to other potential risks, including risks associated with unforeseen or hidden liabilities, the diversion of resources from our existing businesses and technologies, our inability to generate sufficient revenue to offset the costs, expenses of acquisitions and potential loss of, or harm to, relationships with employees and customers as a result of our integration of new businesses. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to manage our business, our financial condition and our results of operations.

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Future legislation and regulation, both domestic and international, could have an adverse effect on our business operations.
Various laws and governmental regulations, both in the United States and international, governing internet related services, related communications services and information technologies remain largely unsettled, even in areas where there has been some legislative action. For example, in 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) overturned network neutrality rules, which may result in material changes in the regulations and contribution regime affecting us and our customers. Furthermore, the U.S. Congress and state legislatures are reviewing and considering changes to the new FCC rules making the future of network neutrality and its impact on us uncertain. There may also be forthcoming regulation in the United States in the areas of cybersecurity, data privacy and data security, any of which could affect us and our customers. Similarly, data privacy regulations outside of the United States continue to evolve. Future legislation could impose additional costs on our business or require us to make changes in our operations, which could adversely affect our operations.
We may incur significant costs complying with other regulations.
Our properties are subject to various federal, state and local regulations, such as state and local fire and safety regulations. If one of our properties is not in compliance with these various regulations, we may be required to pay fines or private damage awards. We do not know whether existing regulations will change or whether future regulations will require us to make significant unanticipated expenditures that may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our facilities may not be suitable for uses other than as data centers, which could make it difficult to sell or reposition them and could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our data centers are designed primarily to house and run IT equipment and, therefore, contain extensive electrical and mechanical systems and infrastructure. As a result, our facilities may not be suitable for uses other than as data centers, or may require major renovations and expenditures before they can be re-leased or sold for uses other than as data centers.
Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure
Our principal asset is our interest in Switch, Ltd., and, accordingly, we depend on distributions from Switch, Ltd. to pay our taxes and expenses, including payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement (“TRA”). Switch, Ltd.’s ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions.
We are a holding company and have no material assets other than our ownership of Common Units. We have no independent means of generating revenue or cash flow. We have determined that Switch, Ltd. is a variable interest entity (“VIE”) and that we are the primary beneficiary of Switch, Ltd. Accordingly, pursuant to the VIE accounting model, we have consolidated Switch, Ltd. in our consolidated financial statements. In the event of a change in accounting guidance or amendments to the Switch Operating Agreement resulting in us no longer having a controlling interest in Switch, Ltd., we may not be able to consolidate its results of operations with our own, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Moreover, our ability to pay our taxes and operating expenses or declare and pay dividends in the future, if any, is dependent upon the financial results and cash flows of Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries and distributions we receive from Switch, Ltd. There can be no assurance that Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries will generate sufficient cash flow to distribute funds to us or that applicable state law and contractual restrictions, including negative covenants in our debt instruments, will permit such distributions.
Switch, Ltd. is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, is not subject to any entity-level U.S. federal income tax. Instead, taxable income is allocated to holders of Common Units, including us. Accordingly, we incur income taxes on our allocable share of any net taxable income of Switch, Ltd. Under the terms of the Switch Operating Agreement, Switch, Ltd. is obligated to make tax distributions to holders of Common Units, including us. In addition to tax expenses, we will also incur expenses related to our operations, including payments under the TRA, which we expect could be significant. As the manager of Switch, Ltd., we intend to cause Switch, Ltd. to make cash distributions to the owners of Common Units in an amount sufficient to (i) fund their tax obligations in respect of taxable income allocated to them and (ii) cover our operating expenses, including payments under the TRA. However, Switch, Ltd.’s ability to make such distributions may be subject to various limitations and restrictions, such as restrictions on distributions that would either violate any contract or agreement to which Switch, Ltd. is then a party, including debt agreements, or any applicable law, or that would have the effect of rendering Switch, Ltd. insolvent. If we do not have sufficient funds to pay tax or other liabilities or to fund our operations, we may have to borrow funds, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial

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condition and subject us to various restrictions imposed by any such lenders. To the extent that we are unable to make payments under the TRA for any reason, such payments generally will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid; provided, however, that nonpayment for a specified period may constitute a material breach of a material obligation under the TRA and therefore accelerate payments due under the TRA. In addition, if Switch, Ltd. does not have sufficient funds to make distributions, our ability to declare and pay cash dividends will also be restricted or impaired. See “Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock.”
The TRA with the Members requires us to make cash payments to them in respect of certain tax benefits to which we may become entitled, and we expect that the payments we are required to make will be substantial.
Under the TRA we have entered into with Switch, Ltd. and the Members, we are required to make cash payments to the Members equal to 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in certain circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) the increases in the tax basis of assets of Switch, Ltd. resulting from any redemptions or exchanges of Common Units from the Members and (ii) certain other tax benefits related to our making payments under the TRA. Although the actual timing and amount of any payments that we make to the Members under the TRA will vary, we expect those payments will be significant. Any payments made by us to the Members under the TRA will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us. Furthermore, our future obligation to make payments under the TRA could make us a less attractive target for an acquisition, particularly in the case of an acquirer that cannot use some or all of the tax benefits that are the subject of the TRA. Payments under the TRA are not conditioned on any Member’s continued ownership of Common Units or our Class A common stock.
The actual amount and timing of any payments under the TRA will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of redemptions or exchanges by the holders of Common Units, the amount of gain recognized by such holders of Common Units, the amount and timing of the taxable income we generate in the future, and the federal tax rates then applicable.
Our organizational structure, including the TRA, confers certain benefits upon the Members that will not benefit holders of Class A common stock to the same extent as it will benefit the Members.
Our organizational structure, including the TRA, confers certain benefits upon the Members that will not benefit the holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent as it will benefit the Members. We have entered into the TRA with Switch, Ltd. and the Members and it will provide for the payment by us to the Members of 85% of the amount of tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in some circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) the increases in the tax basis of assets of Switch, Ltd. resulting from any redemptions or exchanges of Common Units from the Members, and (ii) certain other tax benefits related to our making payments under the TRA. Although we will retain 15% of the amount of such tax benefits, this and other aspects of our organizational structure may adversely affect the future trading market for the Class A common stock.
In certain cases, payments under the TRA to the Members may be accelerated or significantly exceed the actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the TRA.
The TRA provides that upon certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control or if, at any time, we elect an early termination of the TRA, then our obligations, or our successor’s obligations, under the TRA to make payments thereunder would be based on certain assumptions, including an assumption that we would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize all potential future tax benefits that are subject to the TRA.
As a result of the foregoing, (i) we could be required to make payments under the TRA that are greater than the specified percentage of the actual benefits we ultimately realize in respect of the tax benefits that are subject to the TRA, and (ii) if we elect to terminate the TRA early, we would be required to make an immediate cash payment equal to the present value of the anticipated future tax benefits that are the subject of the TRA, which payment may be made significantly in advance of the actual realization, if any, of such future tax benefits. In these situations, our obligations under the TRA could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. There can be no assurance that we will be able to fund or finance our obligations under the TRA.
We will not be reimbursed for any payments made to the Members under the TRA in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.
Payments under the TRA are based on the tax reporting positions that we determine. The Internal Revenue Service or another tax authority may challenge all or part of the tax basis increases, as well as other related tax positions we take, and a court could sustain such challenge. If the outcome of any such challenge would reasonably be expected

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to materially affect a recipient’s payments under the TRA, then we will not be permitted to settle or fail to contest such challenge without the consent (not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed) of each Member that directly or indirectly owns at least 10% of the outstanding Common Units. We will not be reimbursed for any cash payments previously made to the Members under the TRA in the event that any tax benefits initially claimed by us and for which payment has been made to a Member are subsequently challenged by a taxing authority and are ultimately disallowed. Instead, any excess cash payments we make to a Member will be netted against any future cash payments that we might otherwise be required to make to such Member under the terms of the TRA. However, we might not determine that we have made an excess cash payment to a Member for a number of years following the initial time of such payment. If a taxing authority challenges any of our tax reporting positions, we will not be permitted to reduce future cash payments under the TRA until such challenge is finally settled or determined. As a result, we could make payments under the TRA in excess of the tax savings that we realize in respect of the tax attributes with respect to a Member that are the subject of the TRA.
Fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rate and realization of our deferred tax assets may result in volatility of our operating results.
We are subject to taxes by the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax authorities, and our tax liabilities will be affected by the allocation of expenses to differing jurisdictions. We record tax expense based on our estimates of future payments, which may include reserves for uncertain tax positions in multiple tax jurisdictions, and valuation allowances related to certain net deferred tax assets. At any one time, multiple tax years may be subject to audit by various taxing jurisdictions. The results of these audits and negotiations with taxing authorities may affect the ultimate settlement of these matters. We expect that throughout the year there could be ongoing variability in our quarterly tax rates as events occur and exposures are evaluated. Our future effective tax rates could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:
changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities;
expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowances;
tax effects of stock-based compensation; or
changes in tax laws, regulations or interpretations thereof.
In addition, a variety of factors could materially affect our effective tax rate in a given financial statement period, including changes in the mix and level of earnings, varying tax rates in the different jurisdictions in which we operate, fluctuations in valuation allowances, deductibility of certain items, or changes to existing accounting rules or regulations. In addition, tax legislation may be enacted in the future, which could negatively affect our current or future tax structure and effective tax rates. We may be subject to audits of our income, sales, and other transaction taxes by U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign taxing authorities. Outcomes from these audits could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
If we were deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) as a result of our ownership of Switch, Ltd., applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Under Sections 3(a)(1)(A) and (C) of the 1940 Act, a company generally will be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the 1940 Act if (i) it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities or (ii) it engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading in securities and it owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We do not believe that we are an “investment company,” as such term is defined in either of those sections of the 1940 Act.
As the manager of Switch, Ltd., we will control and operate Switch, Ltd. On that basis, we believe that our interest in Switch, Ltd. is not an “investment security” as that term is used in the 1940 Act. However, if we were to cease participation in the management of Switch, Ltd., our interest in Switch, Ltd. could be deemed an “investment security” for purposes of the 1940 Act.
We and Switch, Ltd. intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. However, if we were to be deemed an investment company, restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

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Although we were no longer a controlled company within the meaning of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) rules, as of November 8, 2019, we continue to qualify for and may rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that provide protection to stockholders of other companies during a one-year transition period. Our stockholders do not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to such requirements.
Because our Founder Members no longer control more than 50% of our combined voting power, we are no longer a “controlled company” for the purposes of NYSE rules and corporate governance standards. However, we continue to qualify for and may rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance standards that would otherwise provide protection to our stockholders during a one-year transition period from November 8, 2019. The NYSE rules require that we have a majority of independent directors on our board of directors within one year of the date we ceased to qualify as a “controlled company,” have at least one independent director on each of the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees on the date we ceased to qualify as a “controlled company,” have at least a majority of independent directors on each of the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees within 90 days of such date and the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees be composed entirely of independent directors within one year of such date.
During this transition period, we continue to qualify for and may continue to utilize the available exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements as permitted by NYSE rules. Accordingly, during the transition period, our stockholders may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE. As of the date of this report, we have a majority of independent directors, our Compensation Committee has two independent directors out of a total of three members, and our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has two independent directors out of a total of three members.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Class A Common Stock
The Members have the right to have their Common Units redeemed or exchanged into shares of Class A common stock, which may cause volatility in our stock price.
As of February 1, 2020, we have an aggregate of more than 700,000,000 shares of Class A common stock authorized but unissued, including 146,410,385 shares of Class A common stock issuable upon redemption or exchange of Common Units. Subject to the restrictions set forth in the Switch Operating Agreement, the Members may have their Common Units redeemed for shares of our Class A common stock. We have also entered into the Registration Rights Agreement pursuant to which the shares of Class A common stock issued to the Members upon redemption of Common Units are eligible for resale, subject to certain limitations set forth therein.
We cannot predict the timing or size of any future issuances of our Class A common stock resulting from the redemption or exchange of Common Units or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our Class A common stock may have on the market price of our Class A common stock. Sales or distributions of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock, including shares issued in connection with an acquisition, or the perception that such sales or distributions could occur, may cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.
An active trading market for our Class A common stock may not be sustained.
Our Class A common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “SWCH.” However, we cannot ensure that an active trading market for our Class A common stock will be sustained. In addition, we cannot ensure that the liquidity of any trading market will provide the ability to sell shares of our Class A common stock when or at desired prices.
If our operating and financial performance in any given period does not meet the guidance that we provide to the public, our stock price may decline.
We provide public guidance on our expected operating and financial results for future periods. Such guidance is comprised of forward-looking statements subject to the risks and uncertainties described in this report and in our other public filings and public statements. Our actual results may not always be in line with or exceed the guidance we have provided, especially in times of economic uncertainty. If, in the future, our operating or financial results for a particular period do not meet the guidance we provide or the expectations of investment analysts or if we reduce our guidance for future periods, the market price of our Class A common stock may decline as well.
If securities analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or if they publish negative evaluations of our Class A common stock, the price of our Class A common stock could decline.
The trading market for our Class A common stock relies in part on the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us or our business. If one or more of the analysts covering our business downgrades their

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evaluations of our stock, the price of our Class A common stock could decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases to cover our Class A common stock, we could lose visibility in the market for our stock, which in turn could cause our Class A common stock price to decline.
The trading price of our Class A common stock may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance.
Volatility in the market price of our Class A common stock may affect the ability to sell shares at or above the price paid for such shares. The market price of our Class A common stock may fluctuate significantly in response to a number of factors, most of which we cannot control, including:
our operating performance and prospects and those of other similar companies;
actual or anticipated variations in our financial condition, liquidity or results of operations;
changes in financial projections we may provide to the public or our failure to meet these projections;
change in the estimates of securities analysts relating to our earnings or other operating metrics;
publication of research reports about us, our significant customers, our competition, data center companies generally or the technology industry;
recruitment or departure of key personnel;
new laws or regulations or new interpretations of existing laws or regulations applicable to our business;
changes in market valuations of similar companies;
announcements by us or our competitors of significant technological innovations, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments;
actual or anticipated developments in our business or our competitors’ businesses or the competitive landscape generally;
developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property or our services, or third-party proprietary rights;
adverse market reaction to leverage we may incur or equity we may issue in the future;
actions by institutional stockholders;
actual or perceived accounting issues, including changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations or principles;
failure to comply with NYSE requirements;
speculation in the press or investment community about our company or industry or the economy in general;
adverse developments in the credit-worthiness, business or prospects of one or more of our significant customers;
lawsuits threatened or filed against us;
other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism, or responses to these events;
the realization of any of the other risk factors presented in this report;
the overall performance of the equity markets; and
general market and economic conditions.
Our anti-takeover provisions could prevent or delay a change in control of our company, even if such change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders.
Provisions of our amended and restated articles of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, as well as provisions of Nevada law, could discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of our company, even if such change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders. These provisions include:
authorizing the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that could be issued by our board of directors to increase the number of outstanding shares and thwart a takeover attempt;
prohibiting the use of cumulative voting for the election of directors;

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removal of incumbent directors only by the vote of stockholders with not less than two-thirds of the voting power of our outstanding stock;
prohibiting stockholders from calling special meetings;
requiring that our board of directors adopt a resolution in order to propose any amendment to our articles of incorporation before it may be considered for approval by our stockholders;
limiting the ability of stockholders to amend our bylaws and approve certain amendments to our articles of incorporation, in each case by requiring the affirmative vote of holders of at least two-thirds of the votes that stockholders would be entitled to cast in any annual election of directors;
requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders; and
establishing advance notice and duration of ownership requirements for nominations for election to the board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at stockholder meetings.
These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for our stockholders to elect directors of their choosing and cause us to take other corporate actions they desire. In addition, because our board of directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions could in turn affect any attempt by our stockholders to replace current members of our management team.
In addition, we are subject to Nevada’s statute on combinations with interested stockholders (Sections 78.411-78.444 of the Nevada Revised Statutes), which prohibits us from entering into a “combination” with an “interested stockholder” for up to four years, unless certain conditions are met (such as, in some circumstances, approval by our board of directors before such person became an interested stockholder, or by both our board of directors and a supermajority of disinterested stockholders). Under the statute, an interested stockholder is a person who beneficially owns (or, if an affiliate or associate, did, within the prior two years, beneficially own) stock with 10% or more of the corporation’s voting power. The inability of an interested stockholder to pursue the types of combinations restricted by the statute could discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of our company.
Finally, a person acquiring a significant proportion of our voting stock could be precluded from voting all or a portion of such shares under Nevada’s “control share” statute (Sections 78.378-78.3793 of the Nevada Revised Statutes), which prohibits an acquirer of stock, under certain circumstances, from voting its “control shares” of stock acquired up to 90 days prior to crossing certain ownership threshold percentages, unless the acquirer obtains approval of disinterested stockholders or unless the issuing corporation amends its articles of incorporation or bylaws within 10 days of the acquisition to provide that the “control share” statute does not apply to the corporation or the types of existing or future stockholders. If the voting rights are not approved, the statute would allow us to call all of such control shares for redemption at the average price paid for such shares.
We may issue shares of preferred stock in the future, which could make it difficult for another company to acquire us or could otherwise adversely affect holders of our Class A common stock, which could depress the price of our Class A common stock.
Our amended and restated articles of incorporation authorize us to issue one or more series of preferred stock. Our board of directors has the authority to determine the preferences, limitations and relative rights of the shares of preferred stock and to fix the number of shares constituting any series and the designation of such series, without any further vote or action by our stockholders. Our preferred stock could be issued with voting, liquidation, dividend and other rights superior to the rights of our Class A common stock. The potential issuance of preferred stock may delay or prevent a change in control of us, discourage bids for our Class A common stock at a premium to the market price, and materially and adversely affect the market price and the voting and other rights of the holders of our Class A common stock.
We are subject to securities class action litigation and may be subject to additional litigation in the future, which may harm our business and operating results.
We are, and may in the future become, subject to various legal proceedings and claims that arise in or outside the ordinary course of business. For example, in 2018, several putative class action complaints were filed against us, certain current and former officers and directors and certain underwriters of our IPO alleging federal securities law violations in connection with the IPO. In addition, certain lawsuits were filed against current and former officers and directors of Switch, Inc. alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, waste of corporate assets, abuse of control, and gross mismanagement. These plaintiffs also named Switch, Inc. as a nominal defendant. These lawsuits were brought by purported stockholders of Switch, Inc. and arise generally from the same allegations.

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We may be subject to similar lawsuits in the future. We may also be called on to defend ourselves against lawsuits relating to our business operations. Some of these claims may seek significant damage amounts due to the nature of our business. Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation, we cannot accurately predict the nature or ultimate outcome of any such proceedings.
Regardless of their merits, these lawsuits or future lawsuits could subject us to substantial costs, divert resources and the attention of management from our business and harm our business, results of operations, financial condition, reputation and cash flows. These factors may materially and adversely affect the market price of our Class A common stock.
Substantial future sales of our Class A common stock, or the perception in the public markets that these sales may occur, may depress our stock price.
Sales of substantial amounts of our Class A common stock in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the price of our Class A common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional shares. As of February 1, 2020, we had 94,877,065 shares of Class A common stock outstanding and 146,410,385 authorized but unissued shares of Class A common stock that would be issuable upon redemption or exchange of Common Units.
All of the shares of Class A common stock held by our directors, executive officers and holders of substantially all of our outstanding common stock (including shares of Class A common stock issuable upon redemption or exchange of Common Units) may be sold in the public market, subject to applicable limitations imposed under federal securities laws. Sales of a substantial number of such shares or the perception that such sales may occur, could cause our market price to fall or make it more difficult for our stockholders to sell their Class A common stock at a time and price that they deem appropriate. We have entered into a Registration Rights Agreement pursuant to which the shares of Class A common stock issued upon redemption or exchange of Common Units held by the Members will be eligible for resale, subject to certain limitations set forth therein.
In the future, we may also issue additional shares of Class A common stock, or securities convertible or exchangeable for shares of Class A common stock, to raise capital, which could constitute a material portion of our then-outstanding shares of common stock.
We cannot predict the impact our capital structure may have on our stock price.
In July 2017, S&P Dow Jones, a provider of widely followed stock indices, announced that companies with multiple share classes, such as ours, will not be eligible for inclusion in certain of their indices. As a result, our Class A common stock is not currently eligible for these stock indices. Many investment funds are precluded from investing in companies that are not included in such indices, and these funds would be unable to purchase our Class A common stock. We cannot predict whether other stock indices will take a similar approach to S&P Dow Jones in the future. Exclusion from indices could make our Class A common stock less attractive to investors and, as a result, the market price of our Class A common stock could be adversely affected.
We incur costs as a result of being a public company and in the administration of our complex organizational structure.
As a public company, we incur significant legal, accounting, insurance and other expenses, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. We also have incurred and will continue to incur costs associated with the loss of our emerging growth company status and related exemptions from certain disclosure obligations, Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related rules implemented by the SEC that have not been reflected in our historical consolidated financial statements for periods prior to the IPO. We also incur ongoing periodic expenses in connection with the administration of our organizational structure. The expenses incurred by public companies generally for reporting and corporate governance purposes have been increasing. We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly, although we are currently unable to estimate these costs with any degree of certainty. In assessing these costs, we will take into account expenses related to insurance, legal, accounting, and compliance activities, as well as other expenses not currently incurred. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult or costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to obtain certain types of insurance and to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as our executive officers. Furthermore, if we are unable to satisfy our obligations as a public company, we could be subject to delisting of our Class A common stock, fines, sanctions and other regulatory action and potentially civil litigation. Our organizational structure, including our TRA, is complex, and we require the expertise of various tax, legal and accounting advisers to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We have incurred and will continue to incur significant

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expenses in connection with the administration of our organizational structure. As a result, our expenses for legal, tax and accounting compliance may be significantly greater than other companies of our size that do not have a similar organizational structure or a tax receivable agreement in place.
We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting and may identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls or disclosure controls and procedures, which may result in material misstatements of our consolidated financial statements or cause us to fail to meet our periodic reporting obligations.
As of December 31, 2019, we have a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
The material weakness, which was identified in connection with the audit of our 2017 consolidated financial statements, relates to an insufficient complement of resources with an appropriate level of accounting expertise, knowledge, and training commensurate with the complexity of our financial reporting matters. This material weakness led to pervasive immaterial adjustments to our annual and interim consolidated financial statements, inadequate review over account reconciliations and the inability to maintain segregation of duties over journal entries resulting in the lack of an effective control environment. We concluded this material weakness continued to exist as of December 31, 2019.
This material weakness could result in a misstatement of our account balances or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement of the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
We have implemented and continue to implement measures designed to improve our internal control over financial reporting to remediate this material weakness. If the steps we take do not correct the material weakness in a timely manner, we will be unable to conclude that we maintain effective internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, there could continue to be a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our financial statements would not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
Our ability to pay dividends on our Class A common stock is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and our amended and restated credit agreement as well as future agreements.
Although we intend to pay quarterly cash dividends on our Class A common stock, the declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends on shares of Class A common stock will be at the sole discretion of our board of directors, and will depend upon results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, restrictions imposed by applicable law and other factors our board of directors deems relevant. The continued operation and expansion of our business will require substantial funding. We are a holding company, and substantially all of our operations are carried out by Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Under our amended and restated credit agreement, Switch, Ltd. is currently restricted from paying cash dividends or making certain other restricted payments, and we expect these restrictions to continue in the future, which may in turn limit our ability to pay dividends on our Class A common stock. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities of ours or of our subsidiaries. Accordingly, realization of a gain on an investment in our Class A common stock may depend on the appreciation of the price of our Class A common stock, which may never occur.
Provisions of our articles of incorporation, limitations on director and officer liability and our indemnification of our officers and directors may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.
Our amended and restated articles of incorporation require that (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim against us or our officers, directors or employees arising pursuant to any provision of Nevada law regarding corporations, mergers, conversions, exchanges or domestications, or our amended and restated articles of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors, officers or other employees governed by the internal affairs doctrine, will have to be brought only in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County, Nevada. Although we believe this provision benefits us by providing increased consistency in the application of Nevada law in the types of lawsuits to which it applies, the provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against our directors and officers.
In addition, our amended and restated articles of incorporation also provide, pursuant to Nevada corporation law, that a director or officer shall not be personally liable to us or our stockholders for damages as a result of any

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breach of fiduciary duty as a director or officer, except for acts or omissions which involve intentional misconduct, fraud or knowing violation of law. In addition, a director or officer will not be liable unless presumptions in his or her favor are rebutted. These provisions may discourage stockholders from bringing suit against a director or officer for breach of fiduciary duty and may reduce the likelihood of derivative litigation brought by stockholders on our behalf against a director or officer. In addition, our amended and restated articles of incorporation and bylaws require indemnification of directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by Nevada law.
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2.
Properties.
The information set forth under the captions “Our Campus Locations” and “Our Portfolio” in Item 1 of this Form 10-K is incorporated by reference herein.
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings.
On September 7, 2017, Switch, Ltd. and Switch, Inc. were named in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada by V5 Technologies formerly d/b/a Cobalt Data Centers. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Switch, Ltd. and Switch, Inc. monopolized the Las Vegas Metropolitan area of Southern Nevada’s data center colocation market and engaged in unfair business practices leading to the failure of Cobalt Data Centers in 2015 and seeks monetary damages in an amount yet to be disclosed. Discovery closed in February 2020. The parties are currently engaged in dispositive motion practice. Switch, Ltd. and Switch, Inc. are vigorously defending the case.
On September 12, 2017, Switch, Ltd. filed a complaint in the Eighth Judicial District of Nevada against the consultant, Stephen Fairfax, and his business, MTechnology Inc. Among other claims, Switch raised allegations of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. The complaint also alleged that Aligned Data Centers LLC hired Mr. Fairfax and MTechnology to design their data centers; that this consultant had toured Switch under a non-disclosure agreement; and that this consultant breached his confidentiality agreements with Switch by using Switch’s designs to design the Aligned data centers. Switch, Ltd. is seeking an injunction to prevent the defendants in the lawsuit from infringing Switch, Ltd.’s patents, as well as other remedies. The parties are currently engaged in discovery.
Four substantially similar putative class action complaints, captioned Martz v. Switch, Inc. et al. (filed April 20, 2018); Palkon v. Switch, Inc. et al. (filed April 30, 2018); Chun v. Switch, Inc. et al. (filed May 11, 2018); and Silverberg v. Switch, Inc. et al. (filed June 6, 2018), were filed in the Eighth Judicial District of Nevada, and subsequently consolidated into a single case (the “State Court Securities Action”). Additionally, on June 11, 2018, one putative class action complaint captioned Cai v. Switch, Inc. et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (the “Federal Court Securities Action,” and collectively with the State Court Securities Action, the “Securities Actions”) and subsequently transferred to the Eighth Judicial District of Nevada in August 2018 and the federal court appointed Oscar Farach lead plaintiff. These lawsuits were filed against Switch, Inc., certain current and former officers and directors and certain underwriters of Switch, Inc.’s IPO alleging federal securities law violations in connection with the IPO. These lawsuits were brought by purported stockholders of Switch, Inc. seeking to represent a class of stockholders who purchased Class A common stock in or traceable to the IPO, and seek unspecified damages and other relief. In October 2018, the state court granted the defendants’ motion to stay the State Court Securities Action in favor of the Federal Court Securities Action, which stay was affirmed by the Nevada Supreme Court in September 2019. In October 2018, the lead plaintiff of the Federal Court Securities Action filed an amended complaint. In November 2018, Switch, Inc. and other defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and a motion to strike. In July 2019, the federal court granted Switch, Inc.’s motion to dismiss in part, which narrowed the scope of the plaintiff’s case. In December 2019, Switch, Inc. filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings and the parties are waiting for the federal court to rule on the motion. The parties are currently engaged in discovery in the Federal Court Securities Action. Switch, Inc. believes that these lawsuits are without merit and intends to continue to vigorously defend against them.
On September 10, 2018, two purported stockholders of Switch, Inc. filed substantially similar shareholder derivative complaints, respectively captioned Liu v. Roy et al., and Zhao v. Roy et al., in the Eighth Judicial District of Nevada, which were subsequently consolidated into a single case (the “Derivative Shareholder Action”). These lawsuits allege breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, waste of corporate assets, abuse of control, and gross mismanagement against certain current and former officers and directors of Switch, Inc. The plaintiffs also named Switch, Inc. as a nominal defendant. The complaints arise generally from the same allegations described in the State Court Securities Action and Federal Court Securities Action. The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages on

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Switch, Inc.’s behalf from the officer and director defendants, certain corporate governance actions, compensatory awards, and other relief. In December 2019, the court granted the parties’ stipulation to stay the Derivative Shareholder Action until the earlier of any of the following events: the Securities Actions are resolved with prejudice as to each defendant or a motion for summary judgment is resolved in the Federal Court Securities Action.
The outcomes of the legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable, subject to significant uncertainties, and could be material to the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows for a particular period. Where the Company is a defendant, it will vigorously defend against the claims pleaded against it. These actions are each in preliminary stages and management has determined that based on proceedings to date, it is currently unable to determine the probability of the outcome of these actions or the range of reasonably possible loss, if any.
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.
Part II.

Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Market information
Our Class A common stock has traded on the NYSE under the symbol “SWCH” since October 6, 2017. Prior to that date, there was no public market for our Class A common stock. Our Class B common stock and Class C common stock are neither listed nor traded on any stock exchange.
Holders of record
As of February 1, 2020, there were 22 holders of record of our Class A common stock. The number of record holders does not include persons who held shares of our Class A common stock in nominee or “street name” accounts through brokers. As of February 1, 2020, there were 99 holders of record of our Class B common stock. As of February 1, 2020, there were no shares of Class C common stock outstanding.
Dividends
We currently pay regular quarterly cash dividends and expect to continue paying regular cash dividends on a quarterly basis. Prior to the payment of such dividends, Switch, Ltd. makes and expects to continue making a cash distribution to all of its holders of record of Common Units, including us. The declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends on shares of Class A common stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon many factors, including our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions in Switch, Ltd.’s debt agreements and other factors that our board of directors deem relevant. We are a holding company, and substantially all of our operations are carried out by Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Additionally, Switch, Ltd.’s amended and restated credit agreement places certain restrictions on its ability to pay cash dividends or make certain other restricted payments, and we expect these restrictions to continue in the future, which may in turn limit our ability to pay dividends on our Class A common stock. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred equity securities of us or our subsidiaries. Holders of our Class B common stock and Class C common stock are not entitled to participate in any dividends declared by our board of directors.

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Performance graph
The graph below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our Class A common stock with the cumulative total return on the Standard and Poor’s MidCap 400 Index (the “S&P 400”) and the Standard and Poor’s Technology Select Sector Index (“S&P Technology”) for the period beginning on October 6, 2017 (the date our Class A common stock commenced trading on the NYSE) and ending on December 31, 2019, assuming an investment of $100 on October 6, 2017 and the reinvestment of dividends where applicable.
403094771_chart-6cc91b0fb2ed7530f5da13.jpg
Recent sales of unregistered securities
None.

Issuer purchases of equity securities
None.

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Item 6.
Selected Financial Data.
The following selected financial data has been derived from our consolidated financial statements. This selected financial data should be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” within Part II, Item 7, our consolidated financial statements and related notes, and other information contained in this Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future.
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2019(1)
 
2018
 
2017(2)
 
2016
 
2015
 
(in thousands, except per share/unit data)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data(3):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
462,310

 
$
405,860

 
$
378,275

 
$
318,352

 
$
265,870

Cost of revenue
242,679

 
224,413

 
198,230

 
168,844

 
141,060

Gross profit
219,631

 
181,447

 
180,045

 
149,508

 
124,810

Selling, general and administrative expense
142,704

 
126,768

 
160,569

 
71,420

 
45,251

Impact fee expense

 

 
649

 
27,018

 

Income from operations
76,927

 
54,679

 
18,827

 
51,070

 
79,559

Other income (expense):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense, including amortization of debt issuance costs
(29,236
)
 
(26,370
)
 
(25,079
)
 
(10,836
)
 
(7,682
)
Equity in net (losses) earnings of investments

 
(331
)
 
(1,077
)
 
(10,138
)
 
821

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 
(3,565
)
 

 
(212
)
Gain on sale of asset

 

 

 

 
248

Impairment of notes receivable

 

 

 
(2,371
)
 

Gain on lease termination

 

 

 
2,801

 

Loss on interest rate swaps
(14,917
)
 

 

 

 

Other
1,481

 
3,283

 
1,333

 
842

 
738

Total other expense
(42,672
)
 
(23,418
)
 
(28,388
)
 
(19,702
)
 
(6,087
)
Income (loss) before income taxes
34,255

 
31,261

 
(9,561
)
 
31,368

 
73,472

Income tax (expense) benefit
(2,713
)
 
(1,943
)
 
981

 

 

Net income (loss)
31,542

 
29,318

 
(8,580
)
 
31,368

 
73,472

Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interest
22,625

 
25,266

 
6,628

 

 

Net income (loss) attributable to Switch, Inc.
$
8,917

 
$
4,052

 
$
(15,208
)
 
$
31,368

 
$
73,472

Net income (loss) per share/unit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
0.12

 
$
0.09

 
$
(1.88
)
 
$
0.16

 
$
0.37

Diluted
$
0.11

 
$
0.09

 
$
(1.88
)
 
$
0.15

 
$
0.37

Weighted average shares/units outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
76,501

 
45,682

 
8,074

 
199,047

 
196,773

Diluted
246,329

 
45,753

 
8,074

 
203,461

 
199,272

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash dividends declared per share
$
0.12

 
$
0.06

 
$
0.01

 
$

 
$

________________________________________
(1)
Reflects the impact from the adoption of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), and ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). Refer to Note 2 “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated financial statements.
(2)
During the year ended December 31, 2017, we recorded non-recurring equity-based compensation expense of $71.3 million related to the accelerated vesting of certain incentive units upon our IPO and fully vested awards granted under our 2017 Incentive Award Plan within selling, general and administrative expense.
(3)
Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries is our predecessor for accounting purposes and, accordingly, amounts for the period from January 1, 2017 through October 10, 2017, and for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 represent the historical consolidated operations of Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Switch, Inc. had no business transactions or activities during this period from its incorporation on June 13, 2017 through October 10, 2017, with the exception of the issuance of one share at par value of $0.001 per share, which was canceled as of the closing date of our IPO. The amounts for the period from October 11, 2017 through December 31, 2017 and the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 reflect the consolidated operations of Switch, Inc.

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December 31,
 
2019(1)
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
(in thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data(2):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
24,721

 
$
81,560

 
$
264,666

 
$
22,713

 
$
14,192

Property and equipment, net
$
1,551,117

 
$
1,302,770

 
$
1,133,572

 
$
874,259

 
$
598,234

Total assets
$
1,773,743

 
$
1,460,030

 
$
1,434,759

 
$
921,015

 
$
647,578

Deferred revenue, current and noncurrent
$
42,843

 
$
33,060

 
$
30,864

 
$
24,858

 
$
14,253

Long-term debt, current and noncurrent
$
751,372

 
$
586,566

 
$
591,760

 
$
472,067

 
$
292,517

Finance lease liabilities, current and noncurrent
$
57,626

 
$
19,466

 
$
21,775

 
$
23,466

 
$
19,466

Total stockholders’/members’ equity
$
627,645

 
$
708,352

 
$
742,133

 
$
278,363

 
$
284,694

________________________________________
(1)
Reflects the impact from the adoption of ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), and ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). Refer to Note 2 “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated financial statements.
(2)
Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries is our predecessor for accounting purposes and, accordingly, amounts as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 represent the historical consolidated operations of Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries. The amounts as of December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017 reflect the consolidated operations of Switch, Inc. Switch, Inc. had no business transactions or activities and had no assets or liabilities during the period from its incorporation on June 13, 2017 through October 10, 2017, with the exception of the issuance of one share at par value of $0.001 per share, which was canceled as of the closing date of our IPO.
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.
Overview
We are a technology infrastructure company powering the sustainable growth of the connected world and the Internet of Everything. Using our technology platform, we provide solutions to help enable that growth. Our advanced data centers are the center of our platform and provide power densities that exceed industry averages with efficient cooling, while being powered by 100% renewable energy. These hyperscale data centers address the growing challenges facing the data center industry. Our critical infrastructure components in our data centers are purpose-built to satisfy customers’ needs, drive efficiency and enable the deployment of highly advanced computing technologies.
During 2019, we operated three primary campus locations, called Primes, which encompass 11 colocation facilities with an aggregate of up to 4.4 million GSF of space. Our Primes consist of The Core Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada; The Citadel Campus near Reno, Nevada; and The Pyramid Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, our fourth Prime, The Keep Campus in Atlanta, Georgia, opened during the first quarter of 2020. In addition to our Primes, we hold a 50% ownership interest in SUPERNAP International which has deployed facilities in Italy and Thailand. Until March 31, 2018, we accounted for this ownership interest under the equity method of accounting.
We currently have more than 950 customers, including some of the world’s largest technology and digital media companies, cloud, IT and software providers, financial institutions and network and telecommunications providers. Our ecosystem connects over 250 cloud, IT and software providers and more than 90 network and telecommunications providers. Our business is based on a recurring revenue model comprised of (1) colocation, which includes the licensing and leasing of cabinet space and power and (2) connectivity services, which include cross-connects, broadband services and external connectivity. We consider these services recurring because our customers are generally billed on a fixed and recurring basis each month for the duration of their contract. We derive more than 95% of our revenue from recurring revenue and we expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, our largest customer, eBay, Inc. and its affiliates, accounted for 13%, 11%, and 11% of our revenue, respectively.
Our non-recurring revenue is primarily comprised of installation services related to a customer’s initial deployment. These services are non-recurring because they are typically billed once, upon completion of the installation.

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We generated net income of $31.5 million and $29.3 million during the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Due in part to a non-recurring equity-based compensation expense related to the accelerated vesting of certain incentive units upon our IPO and fully vested awards granted under our 2017 Incentive Award Plan, we generated a net loss of $8.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. During the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, we generated Adjusted EBITDA of $231.1 million, $201.7 million, and $194.7 million, respectively, representing an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 50.0%, 49.7%, and 51.5%, respectively.
Factors that May Influence Future Results of Operations
Market and Economic Conditions. We are affected by general business and economic conditions in the United States and globally. These conditions include short-term and long-term interest rates, inflation, money supply, political issues, legislative and regulatory changes, fluctuations in both debt and equity capital markets and broad trends in industry and finance, all of which are beyond our control. Macroeconomic conditions that affect the economy and the economic outlook of the United States and the rest of the world could adversely affect our customers and vendors, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Growth and Expansion Activities. Our future revenue growth will depend on our ability to maintain our existing revenue base while expanding and increasing utilization at our existing and developing Prime Campus locations. During 2019, our existing Prime Campus locations encompassed 11 colocation facilities with an aggregate of up to 4.4 million GSF of space and up to 455 MW of power. As of December 31, 2019, the utilization rates at these Prime Campuses, based on currently available cabinets, were approximately 94%, 75%, and 97% at The Core Campus, The Citadel Campus, and The Pyramid Campus, respectively. Additionally, each of our existing Primes has room for further expansion. Our fourth Prime, The Keep Campus in Atlanta, Georgia, opened during the first quarter of 2020. This data center is designed to include up to approximately 310,000 GSF of space and have up to 35 MW of 100% renewable power available to the facility. We may be unable to attract customers to our data centers or retain them for a number of reasons, including if we fail to provide competitive pricing terms, provide space that is deemed to be inferior to that of our competitors or are unable to provide services that our existing and potential customers desire.
Cost of Power. We are a large consumer of power, and the cost of energy accounts for a significant portion of our cost of revenue. We require power supply to provide many services we offer, such as powering and cooling our customers’ IT equipment and operating critical data center plant and equipment infrastructure. Pursuant to our service agreements, we provide our customers with a committed level of power supply availability and we have committed to operating our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy. Most of our customer agreements provide the ability to increase our cost of service in response to an increase in the cost of energy; however, our gross profit can be adversely affected by increases in our cost of energy if we choose not to pass along the increases to our customers. For instance, the seasonal increase in energy costs during the summer months has not historically resulted in an adjustment to our customer pricing, and therefore has resulted in a decrease in our gross profit in those periods. Nonetheless, as an unbundled purchaser of energy in Nevada, we are able to purchase power in the open market through long-term power contracts, which we believe reduces variability of energy costs. Additionally, our existing customers may not renew their contracts with us or may reduce the services purchased from us, or we may be unable to attract new customers, if we experience increased energy costs or limited availability of power resources, including clean and renewable energy. Our brand or reputation could be adversely affected if we are unable to operate our data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy.
Capital Expenditures. Our growth and expansion initiatives require significant capital. The costs of constructing, developing, operating and maintaining data centers, and growing our operations are substantial. While we strive to match the growth of our facilities to the demand for services, we still must spend significant amounts before we receive any revenue. If we are unable to generate sufficient capital to meet our anticipated capital requirements, our growth could slow and operations could be adversely affected. Our maintenance capital expenditures were $6.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Growth in Customers. Our results of operations could be significantly affected by the growth or reduction of our customer base. We have over 950 customers, including some of the world’s largest technology and digital media companies, cloud, IT and software providers, financial institutions and network and telecommunications providers. We believe we have significant opportunities to both grow penetration of our existing customers as well as attract new customers. Our ability to attract new customers depends on a number of factors, including our ability to offer high quality services at competitive prices and the capability of our marketing and sales team to attract new customers. Additionally, a significant portion of our revenue is highly dependent on our top 10 customers and the loss of these customers or any significant decrease in their business could adversely affect our results of operations.

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Key Metrics and Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We monitor the following unaudited key metrics and financial measures, some of which are not calculated in accordance with GAAP to help us evaluate our business, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans and make strategic decisions.
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
(dollars in thousands)
Recurring revenue
$
446,966

 
$
395,743

 
$
369,926

Capital expenditures
$
307,712

 
$
275,524

 
$
402,561

Adjusted EBITDA
$
231,061

 
$
201,700

 
$
194,720

Adjusted EBITDA margin
50.0
%
 
49.7
%
 
51.5
%
Recurring Revenue
We calculate recurring revenue as contractual revenue under signed contracts calculated in accordance with GAAP for the applicable period. Recurring revenue does not include any installation or other one-time revenue, which would be classified as non-recurring revenue. Management uses recurring revenue as a supplemental performance measure because it provides a useful measure of increases or decreases in contractual revenue from our customers and provides a baseline revenue measure on which to plan expenses.

The following table sets forth a reconciliation of recurring revenue to total revenue:
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
(in thousands)
Recurring revenue
$
446,966

 
$
395,743

 
$
369,926

Non-recurring revenue
15,344

 
10,117

 
8,349

Revenue
$
462,310

 
$
405,860

 
$
378,275

Capital Expenditures
We define capital expenditures as cash purchases of property and equipment during a particular period. We believe that capital expenditures is a useful metric because it provides information regarding the growth of our technology infrastructure platform and the potential to expand our services and add new customers.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin
We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) adjusted for interest expense, interest income, income taxes, depreciation and amortization of property and equipment and for specific and defined supplemental adjustments to exclude (i) non-cash equity-based compensation expense; (ii) equity in net losses of investments; and (iii) certain other items that we believe are not indicative of our core operating performance. We define Adjusted EBITDA margin as Adjusted EBITDA divided by revenue.
Our Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin are not prepared in accordance with GAAP, and should not be considered in isolation of, or as an alternative to measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. We present Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin because we believe certain investors use them as measures of a company’s historical operating performance and its ability to service and incur debt and make capital expenditures. We believe that the inclusion of certain adjustments in presenting Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin is appropriate to provide additional information to investors because Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin exclude certain items that we believe are not indicative of our core operating performance and that are not excluded in the calculation of EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA is also similar to the measures used under the debt covenants included in our credit facilities, except that the definition used in our credit facilities does not exclude certain cash gains or shareholder-related litigation expense. Accordingly, we believe that Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin provide useful information to investors and others in understanding and evaluating our operating results, enhancing the overall understanding of our past performance and future prospects, and allowing for greater transparency with respect to key financial metrics used by our management in its financial and operational decision-making.

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Our non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical tools and you should not consider them in isolation or as a substitute for an analysis of our results under GAAP. There are a number of limitations related to the use of these non-GAAP financial measures versus their nearest GAAP equivalents. Non-GAAP financial measures may not provide information directly comparable to measures provided by other companies in our industry, as those other companies may calculate their non-GAAP financial measures differently. In addition, the non-GAAP financial measures exclude certain recurring expenses that have been and will continue to be significant expenses of our business.
The following table sets forth a reconciliation of our net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA:
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
(in thousands)
Net income (loss)
$
31,542

 
$
29,318

 
$
(8,580
)
Interest expense
29,236

 
26,370

 
25,079

Interest income(1)
(704
)
 
(2,383
)
 
(572
)
Income tax expense (benefit)
2,713

 
1,943

 
(981
)
Depreciation and amortization of property and equipment
119,945

 
106,666

 
89,124

Loss on disposal of property and equipment
586

 
1,206

 
569

Equity-based compensation
29,524

 
35,733

 
84,790

Shareholder-related litigation expense
3,302

 
2,516

 

Loss on interest rate swaps
14,917

 

 

Equity in net losses of investments

 
331

 
1,077

Impact fee expense

 

 
649

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 
3,565

Adjusted EBITDA
$
231,061

 
$
201,700

 
$
194,720

________________________________________
(1)
Interest income is included in the “Other” line of other income (expense) in our consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss).
Components of Results of Operations
Revenue
During the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, we derived more than 95% of our revenue from recurring revenue streams, consisting primarily of (1) colocation, which includes the licensing and leasing of cabinet space and power and (2) connectivity services, which include cross-connects, broadband services and external connectivity. The remainder of our revenue is from non-recurring revenue, which primarily includes installation services related to a customer’s initial deployment. The majority of our revenue contracts are classified as licenses, with the exception of certain contracts that contain lease components. Based on the current growth stage of our business, we expect increases in revenue to be driven primarily by increases in volume, rather than changes in the prices we charge to our customers.
We recognize revenue when control of these goods and services is transferred to our customers in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to be entitled to in exchange for those goods and services. Revenue from recurring revenue streams is generally billed monthly and recognized using a time-based measurement of progress as customers receive service benefits evenly throughout the term of the contract. Contracts with our customers generally have terms of three to five years. Non-recurring installation fees, although generally paid in a lump sum upon installation, are deferred and recognized ratably over the contract term, determined using a portfolio approach. Revenue is generally recognized on a gross basis as a principal versus on a net basis as an agent, largely because we are primarily responsible for fulfilling the contract, take title to services, and bear credit risk.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of revenue consists primarily of depreciation and amortization expense, expenses associated with the operations of our facilities, including electricity and other utility costs and repairs and maintenance, data center employees’ salaries and benefits, including equity-based compensation, connectivity costs, and rental payments related to our leased buildings and land used in data center operations. A substantial portion of our cost of revenue is fixed in nature and may not vary significantly from period to period, unless we expand our existing data centers or open new data centers. However, there are certain costs that are considered more variable in nature, including

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utilities and supplies that are directly related to growth in our existing and new customer base. The largest portion of our utility costs is fixed and a smaller portion is variable with market conditions.
Gross Profit and Gross Margin
Gross profit, or revenue less cost of revenue, and gross margin, or gross profit as a percentage of revenue, has been and will continue to be affected by various factors, including customer growth, the expansion of our existing data centers or opening of new data centers, and the cost of our utilities, specifically electricity. Our gross margin may fluctuate from period to period depending on the interplay of these factors.
Operating Expenses
Selling, General and Administrative Expense
Selling, general and administrative expense consists primarily of salaries and related expenses, including equity-based compensation, accounting, legal and other professional service fees, real estate and personal property taxes, rental payments related to our corporate office lease, marketing and selling expenses, including sponsorships, commissions paid to partners, travel, depreciation and amortization expense, insurance, and other facility and employee related costs. This expense classification may not be comparable to those of other companies. We expect to incur additional selling, general and administrative expenses as we continue to scale our operations to invest in sales and marketing initiatives to further increase our revenue and support our growth. We also expect to continue to incur general and administrative expenses as a result of operating as a public company, including expenses related to compliance with the rules and regulations of the SEC and those of the NYSE, additional expenses related to the loss of our emerging growth company status as of December 31, 2019, additional insurance expenses, investor relations activities and other administrative and professional services. Further, we expect to continue to incur general and administrative expenses in the form of equity-based compensation as a result of the continued vesting of Common Unit awards granted to certain of our executives in 2017 and other equity awards. As a result, we expect that our selling, general and administrative expense will continue to increase in absolute dollars, but may fluctuate as a percentage of our revenue from period to period.
Other Income (Expense)
Interest Expense
Interest expense consists primarily of interest on our credit facilities and amortization of debt issuance costs, net of amounts capitalized.
Equity in Net Losses of Investments
Equity in net losses of investments primarily consists of our share of results of operations from our equity method investments, including foreign currency translation adjustments. We currently hold two investments, SUPERNAP International and Planet3, Inc. (“Planet3”). Our investments in SUPERNAP International and Planet3 were accounted for under the equity method of accounting through March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2016, respectively, and our share of their results of operations are included within equity in net losses of investments for each applicable period presented. As of March 31, 2018, the carrying value of our investment in SUPERNAP International was reduced to zero as a result of recording our share of its losses. Our losses will continue to include the foreign currency translation adjustments in our investment. As of December 31, 2016, we determined an other than temporary loss in the value of our investment in Planet3 had occurred, and we therefore fully impaired its carrying value. Accordingly, we discontinued the equity method of accounting for our investments in SUPERNAP International and Planet3 as of March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2016, respectively, and will not provide for additional losses until our share of future net income, if any, equals the share of net losses not recognized during the period the equity method was suspended.
Loss on Interest Rate Swaps
Loss on interest rate swaps consists of changes in the fair value of interest rate swaps used to mitigate our exposure to interest rate risk, inclusive of periodic net settlement amounts.
Other
Other income (expense) primarily consists of other items that have impacted our results of operations such as interest income and gains and losses resulting from other transactions.

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Income Taxes
We are the sole manager of Switch, Ltd., which is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal and most applicable state and local income tax purposes. As a partnership, Switch, Ltd. is not subject to U.S. federal and certain state and local income taxes. Any taxable income or loss generated by Switch, Ltd. is passed through to, and included in the taxable income or loss of, its members, including us, on a pro rata basis. We are subject to U.S. federal income taxes, in addition to state and local income taxes with respect to our allocable share of any taxable income or loss generated by Switch, Ltd.
Noncontrolling Interest
As the sole manager of Switch, Ltd., we operate and control all of the business and affairs of Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Although we have a minority economic interest in Switch, Ltd., we have the sole voting interest in, and control the management of, Switch, Ltd. Accordingly, we consolidate the financial results of Switch, Ltd. and report a noncontrolling interest on our consolidated statements comprehensive income (loss), representing the portion of net income or loss and comprehensive income or loss attributable to the noncontrolling interest. The weighted average ownership percentages during the period are used to calculate the net income or loss and other comprehensive income or loss attributable to Switch, Inc. and the noncontrolling interest.
Results of Operations
The following table sets forth our results of operations:
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
(in thousands)
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data(1):
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
462,310

 
$
405,860

 
$
378,275

Cost of revenue
242,679

 
224,413

 
198,230

Gross profit
219,631

 
181,447

 
180,045

Selling, general and administrative expense
142,704

 
126,768

 
160,569

Impact fee expense

 

 
649

Income from operations
76,927

 
54,679

 
18,827

Other income (expense):
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense, including amortization of debt issuance costs
(29,236
)
 
(26,370
)
 
(25,079
)
Equity in net losses of investments

 
(331
)
 
(1,077
)
Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 
(3,565
)
Loss on interest rate swaps
(14,917
)
 

 

Other
1,481

 
3,283

 
1,333

Total other expense
(42,672
)
 
(23,418
)
 
(28,388
)
Income (loss) before income taxes
34,255

 
31,261

 
(9,561
)
Income tax (expense) benefit
(2,713
)
 
(1,943
)
 
981

Net income (loss)
31,542

 
29,318

 
(8,580
)
Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interest
22,625

 
25,266

 
6,628

Net income (loss) attributable to Switch, Inc.
$
8,917

 
$
4,052

 
$
(15,208
)
________________________________________
(1)
Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries is our predecessor for accounting purposes and, accordingly, amounts for the period from January 1, 2017 through October 10, 2017 represent the historical consolidated operations of Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries. Switch, Inc. had no business transactions or activities during this period from its incorporation on June 13, 2017 through October 10, 2017, with the exception of the issuance of one share at par value of $0.001 per share, which was canceled as of the closing date of our IPO. The amounts for the period from October 11, 2017 through December 31, 2017 and the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 reflect the consolidated operations of Switch, Inc.

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The following table sets forth the consolidated statements of operations data presented as a percentage of revenue. Amounts may not sum due to rounding.
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
100
 %
 
100
 %
 
100
 %
Cost of revenue
52

 
55

 
52

Gross profit
48

 
45

 
48

Selling, general and administrative expense
31

 
31

 
42

Impact fee expense

 

 

Income from operations
17

 
13

 
5

Other income (expense):
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense, including amortization of debt issuance costs
(6
)
 
(6
)
 
(7
)
Equity in net losses of investments

 

 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 
(1
)
Loss on interest rate swaps
(3
)
 

 

Other

 
1

 

Total other expense
(9
)
 
(6
)
 
(8
)
Income (loss) before income taxes
7

 
8

 
(3
)
Income tax (expense) benefit
(1
)
 

 

Net income (loss)
7

 
7

 
(2
)
Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interest
5

 
6

 
2

Net income (loss) attributable to Switch, Inc.
2
 %
 
1
 %
 
(4
)%
Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2019 and 2018
Revenue
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
Amount
 
%
 
(dollars in thousands)
Colocation
$
370,682

 
$
324,209

 
$
46,473

 
14
 %
Connectivity
85,009

 
74,006

 
11,003

 
15
 %
Other
6,619

 
7,645

 
(1,026
)
 
(13
)%
Revenue
$
462,310

 
$
405,860

 
$
56,450

 
14
 %
Revenue increased by $56.5 million, or 14%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase of $46.5 million in colocation revenue. Of the overall increase, 38% was attributable to revenue from new customers initiating service after December 31, 2018, and the remaining 62% was attributable to increased revenue from existing customers. Our revenue churn rate, which we define as the reduction in recurring revenue attributable to customer terminations or non-renewal of expired contracts, divided by revenue at the beginning of the period, was 0.6% and 0.5% during the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Additionally, during the year ended December 31, 2019, connectivity revenue included $4.3 million in sales-type lease revenue as a result of the adoption of ASC 842. There was no sales-type lease revenue during the year ended December 31, 2018.

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Cost of Revenue and Gross Margin
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
Amount
 
%
 
(dollars in thousands)
Cost of revenue
$
242,679

 
$
224,413

 
$
18,266

 
8
%
Gross margin
47.5
%
 
44.7
%
 
 
 
 
Cost of revenue increased by $18.3 million, or 8%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase was primarily attributable to increases of $13.0 million in depreciation and amortization expense due to additional property and equipment being placed into service, including the impact of a correction made during the year ended December 31, 2018 for an immaterial amount of $0.8 million in additional depreciation expense included in cost of revenue that should have been expensed during the periods from June 30, 2017 through December 31, 2017, $2.7 million in salaries and related employee expenses largely due to an increase in headcount, $1.1 million in connectivity costs, and $0.6 million in facilities costs associated with increased occupancy as a result of expansion activities. Gross margin increased by 280 basis points for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018.
Selling, General and Administrative Expense
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
Amount
 
%
 
(dollars in thousands)
Selling, general and administrative expense
$
142,704

 
$
126,768

 
$
15,936

 
13
%
Selling, general and administrative expense increased by $15.9 million, or 13%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase was primarily attributable to increases of $8.4 million in professional fees for accounting, consulting, and legal services and $4.2 million in salaries and related employee expenses, $10.4 million of which is largely due to an increase in headcount, partially offset by a decrease of $6.2 million in non-cash compensation expense primarily related to certain equity awards granted in 2017. Additionally, there were increases of $1.1 million in depreciation and amortization expense and $0.7 million in rent expense due to the growth of our corporate office.
Other Income (Expense)
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
Amount
 
%
 
(dollars in thousands)
Other income (expense):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
$
(29,236
)
 
$
(26,370
)
 
$
(2,866
)
 
11
 %
Equity in net losses of investments

 
(331
)
 
331

 
(100
)%
Loss on interest rate swaps
(14,917
)
 

 
(14,917
)
 
NM

Other
1,481

 
3,283

 
(1,802
)
 
(55
)%
Total other expense
$
(42,672
)
 
$
(23,418
)
 
$
(19,254
)
 
82
 %
________________________________________
NM - Not meaningful
Interest Expense
Interest expense increased by $2.9 million, or 11%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase was driven by increases in our weighted average debt outstanding during 2019 as a result of borrowings on our revolving credit facility and in our weighted average interest rate from 4.23% for the year ended December 31, 2018 to 4.45% for the year ended December 31, 2019. This was partially offset by a correction made during the year ended December 31, 2018 of $0.4 million in additional interest expense that should have been expensed during the periods from June 30, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

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Equity in Net Losses of Investments
Equity in net losses of investments of $0.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2018 related to the financial performance of our equity method investment in SUPERNAP International. As the carrying value of our investment in SUPERNAP International was reduced to zero as a result of recording our share of its losses as of March 31, 2018, we discontinued the equity method of accounting and will not provide for additional losses until our share of future net income, if any, equals the share of net losses not recognized during the period the equity method was suspended.
Loss on Interest Rate Swaps
In January and February 2019, we entered into four interest rate swap agreements to mitigate our exposure to interest rate risk. We recorded a loss on interest rate swaps that do not qualify for hedge accounting of $14.9 million from changes in the fair value for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Other
Other income decreased by $1.8 million, or 55%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease was primarily due to a decrease in interest income earned on our cash equivalents.
Income Tax Expense
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
Amount
 
%
 
(dollars in thousands)
Income tax expense
$
(2,713
)
 
$
(1,943
)
 
$
(770
)
 
40
%

Income tax expense increased by $0.8 million, or 40%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. Income tax expense is driven by our allocable share of Switch, Ltd.’s income and loss before income taxes.
Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2019
 
2018
 
Amount
 
%
 
(dollars in thousands)
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interest
$
22,625

 
$
25,266

 
$
(2,641
)
 
(10
)%

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interest decreased by $2.6 million, or 10%, for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to the year ended December 31, 2018, primarily due to a decrease in ownership by noncontrolling interest holders.
For discussion related to the results of operations and changes in financial condition of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, refer to Part II, Item 7 in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the SEC on March 18, 2019.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Switch, Inc. is a holding company and has no material assets other than its ownership of Common Units. As such, we have no independent means of generating revenue or cash flow, and our ability to pay our taxes and operating expenses or declare and pay dividends in the future, if any, will be dependent upon the financial results and cash flows of Switch, Ltd. and its subsidiaries and any distributions we receive from Switch, Ltd. The terms of the amended and restated credit agreement limit the ability of Switch, Ltd., among other things, to incur additional debt, incur additional liens, encumbrances or contingent liabilities, and pay distributions or make certain other restricted payments.
As of December 31, 2019, we had $24.7 million in cash and cash equivalents. As of December 31, 2019, our total indebtedness was $809.0 million consisting of (i) $581.4 million principal from our term loan facility (net of debt issuance costs), (ii) $170.0 million from our revolving credit facility, and (iii) $57.6 million from our finance lease

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obligations. As of December 31, 2019, we had access to $330.0 million in additional liquidity from our revolving credit facility. For the year ending December 31, 2020, we expect to incur $290 million to $340 million in capital expenditures for development and construction projects related to our expansion (excluding acquisitions of land); however, the exact amount will depend on a number of factors. We believe we have sufficient cash and access to liquidity, coupled with anticipated cash generated from operating activities, to satisfy our anticipated cash needs for working capital and capital expenditures for at least the next 12 months, including repayment of the current portion of our debt as it becomes due and completion of our development projects.
In addition, we are obligated to make payments under the TRA. Although the actual timing and amount of any payments we make under the TRA will vary, we expect those payments will be significant. Any payments we make under the TRA will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us or to Switch, Ltd. and, to the extent we are unable to make payments under the TRA for any reason, the unpaid amounts generally will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid by us.
In August 2018, our board of directors authorized a program by which Switch, Ltd. may repurchase up to $150.0 million of its outstanding Common Units for cash and Switch, Inc. will cancel and retire a corresponding amount of Class B common shares. In November 2019, our board of directors increased the repurchase authority by $5.0 million, with any unused amount from this increase expiring on December 31, 2019. The program was effective immediately upon authorization, but may have been suspended or discontinued at any time without notice. Repurchases under the Common Unit repurchase program were funded from our existing cash and cash equivalents. As of December 31, 2019, we had no repurchase authority remaining.
In February 2020, our board of directors authorized the repurchase by Switch, Ltd. of up to $20.0 million of its outstanding Common Units held by Founder Members, with any unused amount from this authorization expiring on March 17, 2020.
Cash Flows
The following table summarizes our cash flows:
 
Years Ended
December 31,
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
(in thousands)
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
209,413

 
$
178,330

 
$
146,601

Net cash used in investing activities
(309,382
)
 
(278,095
)
 
(402,451
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
43,130

 
(83,341
)
 
497,803

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents
$
(56,839
)
 
$
(183,106
)
 
$
241,953

Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Cash from operating activities is primarily generated from operating income from our colocation and connectivity services.
Net cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $209.4 million, compared to $178.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase of $31.1 million was primarily due to increased operations in our expanded data center facilities and changes in our working capital accounts, primarily an increase in deferred revenue received.
Cash Flows from Investing Activities
During the year ended December 31, 2019, net cash used in investing activities was $309.4 million, primarily consisting of capital expenditures of $307.7 million related to the expansion of our data center facilities.
During the year ended December 31, 2018, net cash used in investing activities was $278.1 million, primarily consisting of capital expenditures of $275.5 million related to the expansion of our data center facilities.
Cash Flows from Financing Activities
During the year ended December 31, 2019, net cash provided by financing activities was $43.1 million, primarily consisting of $170.0 million in proceeds from borrowings on our revolving credit facility, partially offset by $91.0 million for the repurchase of Common Units, distributions paid to noncontrolling interest of $19.4 million, dividends paid of $9.1 million, and repayments of borrowings outstanding under our term loan and finance lease liabilities of $6.9 million.

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During the year ended December 31, 2018, net cash used in financing activities was $83.3 million, primarily consisting of $60.6 million for the repurchase of Common Units, distributions paid to noncontrolling interest of $11.6 million, repayments of borrowings outstanding under our term loan of $6.3 million, and dividends paid of $2.8 million.
Outstanding Indebtedness
On June 27, 2017, we entered into an amended and restated credit agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as administrative agent, and certain other lenders, consisting of a $600.0 million term loan facility, maturing on June 27, 2024, and a $500.0 million revolving credit facility, maturing on June 27, 2022, which replaced our prior credit facility. We refer to the term loan facility and the revolving credit facility as the credit facilities. We are required to repay the aggregate outstanding principal amount of the initial term loan in consecutive quarterly installments of $1.5 million, beginning on September 30, 2017, until the final payment of $559.5 million is made on the maturity date.
The amended and restated credit agreement permits the issuance of letters of credit upon our request of up to $30.0 million. As of December 31, 2019, we had $170.0 million outstanding under the revolving credit facility accruing interest at an underlying variable rate of 3.53% and $330.0 million of availability. As of December 31, 2019, we had $581.4 million outstanding under the term loan (net of deferred debt issuance costs) with $400.0 million effectively fixed at 4.73% pursuant to interest rate swap agreements entered into in January and February 2019 and the remaining borrowings outstanding accruing interest at an underlying variable rate of 4.05%. Upon satisfying certain conditions, the amended and restated credit agreement provides that we can increase the amount available for borrowing under the credit facilities no more than five times (up to an additional $75.0 million in total, plus an additional amount subject to certain leverage restrictions) during the term of the amended and restated credit agreement.
The credit facilities are secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of Switch, Ltd.’s tangible and intangible personal property and guaranteed by certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries. Interest on the credit facilities is calculated based on the base rate plus the applicable margin or a LIBOR rate plus the applicable margin (each as defined in the amended and restated credit agreement), at our election. Interest calculations are based on 365/366 days for a base rate loan and 360 days for a LIBOR loan. Base rate interest payments are due and payable in arrears on the last day of each calendar quarter. LIBOR rate interest payments are due and payable on the last day of each selected interest period (not to extend beyond three-month intervals). In addition, under the revolving credit facility we incur a fee on unused lender commitments based on the applicable margin and payment is due and payable in arrears on the last day of each calendar quarter.
The credit agreement contains affirmative and negative covenants customary for such financings, including, but not limited to, limitations, subject to specified exceptions and baskets, on incurring additional debt, incurring additional liens, encumbrances or contingent liabilities, making investments in other persons or property, selling or disposing of our assets, merging with or acquiring other companies, liquidating or dissolving ourselves or any of the subsidiary guarantors, engaging in any business that is not otherwise a related line of business, engaging in certain transactions with affiliates, paying dividends or making certain other restricted payments, and making loans, advances or guarantees. The terms of the credit agreement also require compliance with the consolidated total leverage ratio (as defined in the amended and restated credit agreement) starting with the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2017. As of December 31, 2019, the maximum consolidated total leverage ratio was 4.50 to 1.00. The maximum consolidated total leverage ratio decreases over time to, and remains at, 4.00 to 1.00 for the quarters ending September 30, 2020 and thereafter through maturity. We were in compliance with this and our other covenants under the credit agreement as of December 31, 2019.
Events of default under the credit facilities, subject to specified thresholds, include but are not limited to: nonpayment of principal, interest, fees or any other payment obligations thereunder; failure to perform or observe covenants, conditions or agreements; material violation of any representation, warranty or certification; cross-defaults to certain material indebtedness; bankruptcy or insolvency of Switch Ltd.’s subsidiary guarantors; certain monetary judgments against the subsidiary guarantors; and any change of control occurrence.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We do not have any off-balance sheet arrangements for any of the periods presented.

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Contractual Obligations
The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2019:
 
Payments Due by Period
 
Less than 1 Year
 
1 to 3 Years
 
3 to 5 Years
 
More Than 5 Years
 
Total
 
(in thousands)
Long-term debt, principal(1)
$
6,000

 
$
182,000

 
$
567,000

 
$

 
$
755,000

Long-term debt, interest(2)
33,634

 
62,891

 
38,369

 

 
134,894

Finance lease liabilities(3)
4,459

 
9,665

 
10,049

 
139,714

 
163,887

Operating lease liabilities(4)
6,807

 
7,921

 
4,158

 
53,155

 
72,041

Other contractual commitments(5)
87,723

 
13,605

 
73,926

 
797,652

 
972,906

Total
$
138,623

 
$
276,082

 
$
693,502

 
$
990,521

 
$
2,098,728

________________________________________
(1)
Represents principal payments only. We will pay interest on outstanding indebtedness based on the rates and terms summarized in Note 6 “Long-Term Debt” to our consolidated financial statements.
(2)
Represents interest expected to be incurred on our long-term debt based on amounts outstanding and interest rates as of December 31, 2019, including the impact of interest rate swaps, as summarized in Note 6 “Long-Term Debt” to our consolidated financial statements. Actual rates will vary.
(3)
Represents principal and imputed interest. See Note 7 “Leases” to our consolidated financial statements.
(4)
Represents minimum operating lease payments, excluding potential lease renewals. See Note 7 “Leases” to our consolidated financial statements.
(5)
Represents primarily commitments for leases not yet commenced, construction-related purchase orders, and power purchase and portfolio energy credit agreements for our data centers. See Note 7 “Leases” and Note 9 “Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements.
As of December 31, 2019, we recorded a liability under the TRA of $162.1 million. No amounts are included in the table above as we are unable to reasonably estimate the timing of the payments of the liability; however, no amounts are expected to be paid within the next 12 months.
In January 2020, we entered into a power purchase and sale agreement for electricity to purchase a firm commitment of 60 MW per energy hour for a term of one year starting on July 1, 2020, or a purchase commitment of $20.0 million, inclusive of scheduling services.
In January 2020, we borrowed $20.0 million under our revolving credit facility.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires our management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, costs and expenses and related disclosures. Our estimates are based on our historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these judgments and estimates under different assumptions or conditions and any such differences may be material. We believe that the accounting policies discussed below are critical to understanding our historical and future performance, as these policies relate to the more significant areas involving management’s judgments and estimates.
Revenue Recognition
We derive more than 95% of our revenue from recurring revenue streams, consisting primarily of (1) colocation, which includes the licensing and leasing of cabinet space and power and (2) connectivity services, which includes cross-connects, broadband services, and external connectivity. The remainder of our revenue is from non-recurring revenue, which primarily includes installation services related to a customer’s initial deployment. The majority of our revenue contracts are classified as licenses and accounted for in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers with the exception of certain contracts that contain lease components and are accounted for in accordance with ASC 842, Leases.
We recognize revenue when control of these goods and services is transferred to our customers in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to be entitled to in exchange for those goods and services. Revenue from recurring revenue streams is generally billed monthly and recognized using a time-based measurement of progress as customers receive service benefits evenly throughout the term of the contract, which is generally three to five years. Non-recurring installation fees, although generally paid in a lump sum upon installation, are deferred and recognized ratably over the contract term, determined using a portfolio approach. Non-recurring installation fees are

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not assessed as performance obligations as they are determined to be immaterial in the context of the contract with the customer. Revenue is generally recognized on a gross basis as a principal versus on a net basis as an agent, largely because we are primarily responsible for fulfilling the contract, take title to services, bear credit risk, and have discretion in establishing the price when selling to the customer.
For contracts with customers that contain multiple performance obligations, we account for individual performance obligations separately if they are distinct or as a series of distinct obligations if the individual performance obligations meet the series criteria. Determining whether products and services are considered distinct performance obligations that should be accounted for separately versus together may require significant judgment. The transaction price of a contract is allocated to each distinct performance obligation on a relative standalone selling price basis. The standalone selling price is determined by maximizing observable inputs such as overall pricing objectives, customer credit history, and other factors. Other judgments include determining if any variable consideration should be included in the total contract value of the arrangement, such as price increases. Any variable consideration included in the total contract value of the arrangement is allocated to each distinct obligation, or series of distinct obligations, in an amount that depicts the consideration to which we expect to be entitled in exchange for transferring the underlying goods or services to the customer. We have also made the accounting policy election to exclude taxes assessed by a governmental authority that are both imposed on and concurrent with a specific revenue-producing transaction and collected by us from a customer from our measurement of the transaction price.
Occasionally, we enter into contracts with customers for data center space and office space, which contain lease components. Our leases with customers are generally classified as operating leases and lease payments are recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Lease revenue related to data center space is included within colocation revenue, while lease revenue related to office space is included within other revenue.
Contract Balances
We generally invoice customers in monthly installments payable in advance. The difference between the timing of revenue recognition, and the timing of billings and cash collections results in the recognition of accounts receivable, contract assets, and deferred revenue (contract liabilities) on our consolidated balance sheets. Receivables are recorded at invoice amounts, net of allowance for doubtful accounts, and are recognized in the period when we have transferred goods or provided services to our customers, and when our right to consideration for that transfer is unconditional. Payment terms and conditions vary by contract type, although terms generally include a requirement of payment within 15 to 30 days of the invoice date. In instances where the timing of revenue recognition differs from the timing of invoicing, our contracts generally do not include a significant financing component. We assess collectability based on a number of factors, including past transaction history with the customer and the creditworthiness of the customer.
A contract asset exists when we have transferred products or provided services to our customers, but customer payment is contingent upon future satisfaction of a performance obligation. Certain contracts include terms related to price arrangements and allocations of consideration to multiple performance obligations recognized over differing periods of time. We generally recognize revenue ratably over the contract term, which could potentially give rise to contract assets during certain periods of the contract term.
Deferred revenue represents amounts that are recognized when we have an unconditional right to a payment, and it has been either billed to, or collected from, customers prior to transferring control of the underlying good or service to the customer.
Contract Costs
Contract costs include our incremental direct costs of either obtaining or fulfilling a contract, which primarily consist of sales commissions and bonuses. Contract costs are deferred and amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated period of benefit. We have elected to apply the practical expedient to expense contract costs when incurred if the amortization period is one year or less.
Incremental Borrowing Rate
We recognize right-of-use lease liabilities for all leases other than those with a term of 12 months or less as we have elected to apply the short-term recognition exemption. These lease liabilities represent our obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease and are measured based on the present value of fixed lease payments over the lease term.
As our lessee leases do not provide a readily determinable implicit rate, we use our incremental borrowing rate estimated based on information available at the commencement date in determining the present value of lease payments. When determining the incremental borrowing rate, we assess multiple variables such as lease term,

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collateral, economic conditions, and credit-worthiness. We estimate our incremental borrowing rate using a benchmark senior unsecured yield curve for debt instruments adjusted for our credit quality, market conditions, tenor of lease contracts, and collateral.
Equity-Based Compensation
Equity-based compensation for periods subsequent to our IPO includes stock options, restricted stock, and restricted stock units awarded to employees. We measure equity-based compensation expense at the grant date based on the fair value of the award and recognize the expense over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period. We use the straight-line method to recognize compensation expense for equity awards with service conditions and the accelerated attribution method for equity awards with performance conditions.
We estimate the fair value of stock options using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which utilizes various inputs and assumptions, some of which are subjective. Key inputs we use in applying the Black-Scholes option-pricing model are the stock price on the date of grant, expected stock price volatility, expected term of the award, risk-free interest rate, and expected dividend yield. We estimate expected volatility by using a weighted average of the historical volatility of our common stock and the historical volatilities of a peer group comprised of publicly-traded companies in the same industry. We estimate the expected term of stock option awards using the “simplified” method, whereby, the expected term equals the arithmetic average of the vesting term and the original contractual term of the stock option. The risk-free interest rate is based on United States Treasury zero-coupon issues with remaining terms similar to the expected term of the stock option awards at the time of grant. The expected dividend yield is based on our estimate of annual dividends expected to be paid at the time of grant. Our restricted stock and restricted stock unit awards are measured based on the fair market value of the underlying common stock on the date of grant.
Equity-based compensation for periods prior to our IPO includes incentive units and unit options awarded to employees and members. These equity awards generally had only a service condition and certain of these awards also had a performance condition. The service-based condition of those equity awards was satisfied over a period of up to five years. We estimated the fair value of these equity-based awards using the Black-Scholes option pricing model, which requires the input of highly complex and subjective variables.
Our assumptions were as follows:
Expected volatility.    As we had not been a public company and did not have a trading history for our member equity units, the expected price volatility of the member equity units was estimated by analyzing the volatility of companies in the same industry and selecting volatility within the range.
Risk-free interest rate.    The risk-free interest rate was based on United States Treasury zero-coupon issues with remaining terms similar to the expected term of the equity awards.
Expected term.    The expected term of the equity award was calculated by analyzing the historical exercise data and obtaining the weighted average of the holding period for the equity awards.
Expected dividend yield.    The expected dividend rate was determined at the grant date for each equity award. Because the underlying member equity units are not publicly traded, the fair value of the member equity units were estimated on each grant date by a board of managers of Switch, Ltd. for historical periods prior to our IPO. In order to determine the fair value of the member equity units, the board of managers considered, among other things, contemporaneous valuations of the member equity units prepared by an unrelated third-party valuation firm in accordance with the guidance provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Practice Guide, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation. The board of managers exercised reasonable judgment and considered several objective and subjective factors to determine the best estimate of the fair value of our member equity units including:
our historical and expected operating and financial performance;
current business conditions;
our stage of development and business strategy;
the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering or sale of our company given prevailing market conditions and the nature and history of our business;
market multiples of comparable companies in our industry;
the lack of an active public market for our equity units;
the market performance of comparable publicly traded peer companies; and
macroeconomic conditions.

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In determining the fair value of the member equity units, we estimated the enterprise value of our business primarily using a weighted average approach of a combination of the following three methods: (i) publicly traded data center company multiples; (ii) data center precedent transaction multiples; and (iii) the discounted cash flow method based on our five-year forecast. The weighting of these three methods varied over time. Application of these approaches involved the use of estimates, judgment and assumptions that were highly complex and subjective, such as those regarding our expected future revenue, expenses and future cash flows, discount rates, market multiples, the selection of comparable companies and the probability of possible future events. Common Unit awards were measured based on the fair market value of the underlying unit on the date of grant.
We recorded equity-based compensation expense of $29.5 million, $35.7 million and $84.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. Equity-based compensation expense during the year ended December 31, 2017 reflected the accelerated vesting of certain incentive units upon our IPO and fully vested awards granted under our 2017 Incentive Award Plan. We expect to continue to grant equity-based awards in the future, and, to the extent that we do, our equity-based compensation expense recognized in future periods will likely increase.
Income Taxes
We account for income taxes pursuant to the asset and liability method, which requires the recognition of deferred income tax assets and liabilities related to the expected future tax consequences arising from temporary differences between the carrying amounts and tax bases of assets and liabilities based on enacted statutory tax rates applicable to the periods in which the temporary differences are expected to reverse. Any effects of changes in income tax rates or laws are included in income tax expense in the period of enactment. We reduce the carrying amounts of deferred tax assets by a valuation allowance if, based on the evidence available, it is more likely than not that such assets will not be realized. In making the assessment under the more likely than not standard, appropriate consideration must be given to all positive and negative evidence related to the realization of the deferred tax assets. The assessment considers, among other matters, the nature, frequency and severity of current and cumulative losses, forecasts of future profitability, the duration of statutory carry forward periods by jurisdiction, our experience with loss carryforwards not expiring unutilized and all tax planning alternatives that may be available. A valuation allowance is recognized if under applicable accounting standards we determine it is more likely than not that our deferred tax assets would not be