Yes, those admirably entrepreneurial guardians of economic growth in all our days to come here in Aberdeen "City and Shire" have demonstrated that they will do all it takes to deliver the AWPR, including this form of hostage taking. Latest estimates for the installation of next-generation broadband connectivity in this region are in the area of about £15 million, so we can see the perfect business logic of linking this project to the £700 million motorway bid. A sprat to catch a mackerel, as the traditional fish-industry idiom would put it!
ACSEF's submission to the Scottish Parliament's Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee is here in PDF form:
Rita Steven, ACSEF's "Development Manager" gave oral evidence to the Committee on Thursday, but the minutes haven't been published yet. When they are, we'll bring them to you.
|Broadband Backbone Router|
But of course, there are risks. The fact that it's a completely spurious link to make - that high-speed broadband infrastructure does not, in fact, require any sort of new road to be built at all - might be pointed out. Also running that same risk - the risk of being pointed out by the NIMBY naysayers - is the fact that one of the whole big-thing points of the new-economy information and communication technology is that it is a cheap and simple substitution: "instead of", rather than "in addition to" big ticket motor transport projects. And, biggest risk of all, is the fact that the motorway may not ever be built (sad, but true in these austerity times). So to critically link high-speed broadband (cheap and easy) to a roadbuilding project (expensive and difficult) that may be cancelled before any soil is broken risks indefinite delay in installing high-speed broadband for Aberdeen. These ACSEF guys must play a lot of poker! They show that they are prepared to bet the lot - the entire future of modern communication (already so common elsewhere in the world and the UK) in return for our precious Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road. There's not much else left to bet! Let's hope that the so-called active and sustainable transport advocates are too stupid to notice. Surely they are, because if they were clever, they'd have nice cars and want to show them off on a lovely new road, wouldn't they?!
So we admire the people at ACSEF, in particular Rita Steven their development manager, for these are important people who are willing to demonstrate their belief in the gullibility and stupidity of the little people of Aberdeen "City and Shire". Yes, so splendid are ACSEF, and so secure are they in their pomp and power in our city and it's hinterland, that they know that they can show their contempt for the plebs unchallenged. Just like we do.
We just love these people and the way they behave. They show chutzpa, they show boldness. It's just the sort of high-handed clever risk-taking buccaneering capitalistic free-market spirit which has made the business community in Aberdeen "City and Shire" the talk of Scotland!