Google, the search engine giant with an index of more than three billion web pages, is to establish a vital array of internet operations in Ireland with the creation of some 200 jobs.
IDA Ireland landed the crucial deal aided and abetted by a low corporate tax regime and the existence of vital internet data centre capacity.
In a statement due to hit the news in the coming hour the Tánaiste said that Google is to establish its first operations centre outside the US in Dublin with the support of IDA Ireland.
The centre will be a key link in Google’s global business, serving Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In addition to its service functions, it will locate servers and associated networking equipment in Ireland to handle Google’s growing search traffic.
The announcement follows the Tánaiste’s meeting with Google executives at its California headquarters last week.
“It is wonderful news,” she said. “The announcement is a significant step in the implementation of our strategy to make Ireland a leading player in the digital media industry. The investment made by the State and the private sector over the past three years in global connectivity and state-of-the-art technical infrastructure provides Google and other digital media companies with the environment they need to grow and develop their businesses into the future.”
She continued: “This is fantastic news for Ireland. Google is truly a household name for internet searching and its decision to locate in Dublin positions Ireland as a prime location for global internet services.”
The Google operations centre in Dublin will be primarily responsible for administration, legal and service functions, as well as providing a data centre to service the European market. The investment, which is supported by IDA Ireland, will create more than 200 jobs over the next three years, with recruitment already under way through the Google website (www.google.com/jobs).
At least four telecoms firms are competing for a major share of Google’s connectivity needs when the firm locates in Dublin. Cable & Wireless, Global Crossing, Level 3 and Esat BT are competing for the business of handling the major surge of network traffic. The centre will be a key link in Google’s global business, serving Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
An IDA spokesman said of the telecoms firms: “The way the local telecoms industry pulled together on this one was inspirational. It was the most creative, innovative and price-conscious effort we’ve seen to date.” He added that the surplus data centres and the available capacity from Global Crossing were key to Google’s decision.
The IDA spokesman added that the most likely location for the new Google operations centre would be Citywest. “Because of connectivity reasons this will be the key location for it. In a sense it is like a phoenix out of the ashes when you compare it to the collapse of several data centres in Dublin over the past couple of years. Over half of the internet searches in Europe, Middle East and Africa will come through Dublin.”
The Google search engine has an index of more than three billion web pages and responds to more than 200 million search queries every day.
The IDA spokesman went on to say that landing Google was key to the Government’s strategy for building a digital content industry in Ireland. “We badly wanted a flagship project. We are in the same mood as when we landed projects like Microsoft, Dell, IBM and Intel. The competition was fierce between Dublin and the city of Zurich for this landmark project. This is thrilling.”
According to sources, out of the competition for the business of running Google’s connectivity needs, the successful company will most likely be given 70pc of the business, with the remainder being divided amongst two other successful candidates.
By John Kennedy