Re: "in your area" billboards outside their franchise areas
"...Virgin Media, who have had no major new network build-outs in their areas for about 16 years now.
If you are outside the old franchise areas, forget it. They're not coming, even if they erect enormous billboard adverts saying they are here."
They are still extending their network. It's nothing like the main builds of the 90's, but the more isolated towns are being scheduled for cabling, and Virgin are slowly, methodically, filling in the gaps. After the towns, they've got some of the larger villages to reach but from what I recall, there is a minimum population denisty to which they're required to provide service. It was all set out in phases, back in the 90's. There is a deadline for each phase - not sure if Virgin have hit or missed any targets, but they have to at least show they're making a reasonable effort to achieve them else they get the license pulled.
And as for the billboards: I'd blame marketting and sales. They tend to rush in to new build areas without bothering to check if the service is ready or the houses they're sending flyers to are able to receive service. This happened to my brother early last year: Flyers, sales calls, the usual annoyance, then an admission that the estate is still private and although they *would* be going past the entrance to the estate, they wouldn't be able to spur off as they don't have permission from the land owners. Of cause, the cable wasn't laid along the main road until late November, months after all the sales and marketting took place...