Announcement imminent on Google project

12 Mar 2003

A formal announcement from both Google and IDA Ireland is envisaged following reports that the world’s largest search engine company Google is planning to establish a 200-job facility in Dublin.

Lured by tax breaks and the existence of vast amounts of data capacity and unused data centres following the bursting of the IT and dotcom bubble, Ireland appears to be a cost-effective location for Google, whose technology is used by more than half of all internet searches. The search engine has an index of more than three billion web pages and responds to more than 200 million search queries every day.

An informed source hinted that an announcement was imminent today, following reports this morning on RTÉ Radio.

The Google project will involve the search engine company establishing a portion of its web servers at a Dublin location, following meetings with IDA Ireland and a visit to several data centres in Dublin. A pitched battle to win the project has been underway in recent months and Switzerland has been mentioned as one of Ireland’s toughest competitors for the lucrative 200-job project.

In the halcyon days of the internet boom, some 22 internet data centres were established in Dublin, involving an investment of some €500m in construction and communications equipment. However, less than a dozen of these data centres are operational at present.

As well as this, surplus cable capacity following poor take-up of only a fraction of some 160 STM-1 circuits of Global Crossing’s US$80m joint-venture with the Government, has meant that this capacity is available at reduced costs to players like Google.

Eircom, which was the anchor tenant of Global Crossing’s Citywest operation, in its recent annual results, described its contract as having been a huge drain on resources, complaining it can’t find any use for the massive amounts of internet and data capacity.

By John Kennedy