Search as a Public Utility?

I saw a interesting interview at WebProNews.com and I’ve included it below. Kevin Ryan of Motivity Marketing asks whether or not search is going to become considered a utility?

Interesting concept. Now the first issue we would have to deal with is decoupling.

In public utility regulation, decoupling refers to the disassociation of a utility’s profits from its sales of the energy commodity.

This leads up to the next big question. Is Google a monopoly? No. Even with capturing over 60% of search traffic I don’t see how you can argue that it is an outright monopoly. People use Google because it works and is highly functional. The second they stop being relevant is the second you start looking for alternatives. A monopoly controls your terms of access to service or product–Google does not control the terms in which you access search. There are more than enough options out there they just currently do it best.

The Big Question

Is search an essential part of our daily life? Is it as essential as having electricity, water, and other utilities? If you were limited the ability to search does this limit your ability to what we consider in the Western world a basic need?