quote
menu

Internet in the Sky: a small business guide


Free internet from Google may soon cut business telecoms bills. Understanding this and the Internet of Things may unlock real growth opportunities.

Free internet may sound like a pipe dream but internet giant google is actually hoping to offer free online connections in the next few years.

Free wireless internet access is already available in a remote area of New Zealand though its Project Loon. This futuristic programme allows Google to offer free internet access from its balloon fleet, although there are also other efforts – Project Fi and Project Fibre – to widen online access. Google is even investing $1 billion in a space satellite company SpaceX to offer better connections to extend coverage to remote or rural areas that where service is uneconomic. The incremental cost for Google to offer free wireless net access from the sky is negligible so there seems little reason not to offer such services in the UK.

But why would a company like Google offer its service for free? “Unlike traditional telecoms companies like BT, Google’s business model is focused on the back end. The more people that log in, the more searches there are and the more money they make from advertising,” says John Straw, author of iDisrupted.

Beyond cheaper business internet

The obvious advantage for small businesses is saving on telecoms bills. But Straw advises UK small businesses to look beyond cuts in bills to see valuable opportunities for growth.

Innovative use of free ‘sky internet’ services can pay dividends, especially when combined with other emerging technological advances. “The ‘internet of things’ is another very important development to bear in mind. By 2019 it is expected that over one trillion devices will be connected to the internet.”

The miniaturisation and falling price of computer chips under Moore’s Law means that these will soon become as ordinary and disposable as barcodes. “A business could attached these to its goods so it can see where its items are in transit. Equally, purchasers can track where their orders are and ensure timely delivery,” Straw adds.

The possibilities are exciting – many employers will be eager to explore the potential for better tracking of their employees. However, Straw warns that extreme care must be taken because of strict privacy legislation: “It is possible to address some of these issues by tracking materials rather than people. So, for example, a cleaning firm may offer its cleaners (but not force them to wear) gloves that have microchips inside.” Still, a very careful examination of the potential legal exposures is strongly advised.

Overall, “innovation is key”, Straw stresses. “The first step should be to brainstorm what you could offer with free internet access and tiny computer chips. Think about how you could expand and/or improve your products or services. You can then begin to prepare for what will be a telecoms revolution.”

Related Articles

energy-meter-reading-numbers

Business Electricity Meter Types

There is a wide range of electricity meters that your business may have installed, depending on your electrici...

Read More

10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Everybody has their traditions at Christmas. From watching a pantomime starring a questionable celebrity cast,...

Read More

Which country gets the most time off at Christmas?

Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world, just look at our 10 Bizarre Christmas Traditions artic...

Read More
Excellent, 9.8 / 10

Fantastic

"Fantastic! Very happy with the service received Would definitely recommend"

This review was posted by Room 305 on the 06th of December 2017

I've used Switch My Business for a few …

"I've used Switch My Business for a few years because they literally do everything for you with no fuss. Mark Weeks was incredibly helpful, friendly and understood how busy I was. He explained everything simply, clearly and found rates that matched my needs perfectly (needed a 0 fee standing rate gas supply). He prepared all the paperwork so all I had to do was print, sign and scan. Highly recommended!"

This review was posted by Jay Grocott on the 06th of December 2017

Mark Weeks is very informative of the …

"Mark Weeks is very informative of the current market and helped us change our utility provider effortlessly on an attractive contract"

This review was posted by Alex Slee on the 05th of December 2017

EXCELLENT SERVICE

"It was a seamless switch and Mark Weeks was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I will be using SMB again on the next renewal date."

This review was posted by Marc Hesford on the 05th of December 2017

Mark Weeks provided quotations for my …

"Mark Weeks provided quotations for my search for alternative electricity supplier which were competitive though not significantly better than our current supplier. Very useful however."

This review was posted by john barrus on the 05th of December 2017