The BBC says it plans to provide an electronic programme guide that will become the equivalent of a ‘video Google’.

With the announcement that the BBC is re-focussing its online operation to cut costs while helping to fund new broadband projects, Ashley Highfield, the BBC’s director of new media and technology, says “It is about preparing ourselves for the broadband world”.

Cost savings will enable the corporation to invest in projects such as the previously announced creative archive and interactive media player.

In an interview in the Guardian newspaper, Ashley Highfield said there was an opportunity to develop a ‘video Google’. “We should be in a prime position to create the best next-generation search navigation tool in the world,” he said.

As previously reported by informitv, all the major web search engines are developing video search strategies. The BBC is indeed well-placed to provide a trusted online guide, at least to its own audio-visual resources.

However, whether the scale of the ambition can be matched by the available funds remains to be seen.

Google has an annual turnover of over a billion pounds, significantly less than the total revenue of the BBC, but spends more on research and development alone than the BBC’s entire new media budget.