Will Google be our new King?

Aha, very interesting. Yesterday, a report appeared to escape briefly from the clutches of Google into the Twittersphere concerning the value of the Internet to the UK economy. Only a couple of people managed to grab it and watch the Youtube video, but the summary makes for extremely funky, and potentially exciting, reading.

Connected Kingdom is a report commissioned by Google that states that the UK internet economy is worth £100BN a year, bigger than construction, utilities or transport. (Now go back to the National Infrastructure Plan 2010 I blogged about yesterday and re-read it with that knowledge!)
As an Internet marketer by day, I have to be interested in all that Google do. However, my other minor interest (some might call it just a hobby!) in broadband, means I get quite a wide angle view of Google.
So let’s put a few 2s together, and some 1s and 0s, and see where we end up……
It is in Google’s interest that people can access data and information; after all, Google makes the majority of its revenue at present from search results and its partner network, so it needs people to access these. And Google understands every reason why the scarcity model needs to be replaced by abundance. More, more, more plays right into Google’s hands, whether it’s voice, video or data!
1) Ergo Google has been getting involved in connecting people. Not just the highly publicised  gigabit fibre community networks in the USA, but also satellite companies and the transPacific fibre, Unity.
Is this report a forerunner of an announcement about Google’s involvement in UK fibre deployment? After all, if any country was ripe for the picking, this report clearly indicates that it could be the UK. 
2) Google’s recent acquisitions of a large number of small companies across a tranche of sectors indicates a move away from pure search based revenue into a whole host of new market sectors. (Or if you don’t trust Wikipedia, there’s a nice list here!)
However you look at it, Google needs consumers to have bandwidth to make the most of whatever developments come from these acquisitions. Whilst Google may well go into ethical clothes making in the future, at present the acquisitions involve t’Interweb or the online world.
3) The Connected Kingdom website, which appears to be fairly comprehensive judging by the links on Google: 

connected kingdom.jpeg

appears to have been taken down, despite the domain only having been registered on 18th Oct 2010. It is registered to the Google Offices in Mountain View though, and of course it is only really a Google site that would get such a comprehensive listing in the SERPS in so few days! That final listing is going to be the interesting one though when it goes live, and not just for those fascinated by our currently not quite so connected kingdom.
4) This report has the potential to move everything t’interweb related further up the agenda, politically, economically and socially, than almost anything any of us in the UK have managed to date. 
Whilst it is, of course, in Google’s interest to declare this sector one of the most important to the UK economy, it is not in their interest to make numbers up. The fact of the matter is that after finance, education, manufacturing and distribution, comes the internet.To date, the Blue Book (p.97) appears to have completely failed to recognise it as a sector! My crystal ball says this is all about to change…..
Acknowledging the importance of the knowledge economy, particularly when the other sectors above it have either suffered recent cuts, Mervyn King’s scathing comments yesterday, or crushing fuel costs, would seem to be imperative. 
And maybe, just maybe, Google have a loud enough voice to be heard and not be ignored, where many others have seemingly failed to date. Fingers crossed! 

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There is an interesting idea going around that Rupert Murdoch wants to buy the bit of BSkyB that he doesn't own so that he can package it up with Sky Broadband and flog it to Google. This would give Google entree to fibre and satellite, let it cover the UK and a lot of other countries like a rash, and let it deliver content, which NewsCorp gets on with creating it. Imagine a share swop deal that puts Eric in bed with Rupert, so to speak. Hmmm.
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