Google seeks out Esat BT for connectivity

20 May 2003

Esat BT is to provide the majority of connectivity to the internet search engine firm Google’s Irish operations, in a deal worth €3m.

The Google facility, which was announced earlier this year, covers administration, legal and service functions, as well as providing a data centre to cover the European market. Esat BT will host Google’s servers at its data centre in Citywest and will provide most, but not all, of the network connectivity between Ireland and Germany. It is believed that more than 70pc of Google’s capacity needs will come from Esat BT; for backup and redundancy reasons, the rest will be provided by at least one other telco.

Esat BT beat a number of rivals for the contract. A source close to the deal indicated that one of the factors in Google’s decision was the Irish telco’s link to BT; it is understood that its ties to its parent in the UK and North America helped to land the contract. Google’s US operation is an existing customer of BT.

It is also thought to be a strategically significant win for Esat BT, in terms of its aim to become a key supplier in the Irish ICT sector. It is one of the first local deals to mirror BT’s global strategy to provide content hosting and managed services.

In March, Google announced that it would create 200 jobs in Dublin, supported by the IDA. Although the process of bringing Google to Ireland was an extremely competitive one, the source indicated that Esat BT was not compelled to cut a special deal as part of its bid to win the connectivity contract.

By Gordon Smith