Re: Same here........
"I can't see Virgin bidding as they would have to cable up the whole village and hope for a good take up of services, and tbh, I can't see that happening."
Virgin are now a US listed corporation, and are thus being wrung out for short term cash gains to satisfy gormless US stockholders who expect to see relentless quarter on quarter increases in earnings per share. Network investment is limited to defensive work on speed upgrades, and potential cable build out simply isn't happening, regardless of the potential take up.
This also means that OFCOM (a hypothetically competent OFCOM, that is) cannot offer Virgin the opportunity to take on and upgrade local loop areas if BT doesn't want to upgrade them. There would still be cherry picking, but at least such a solution would focus BT's mind. Maybe invite foreign telecoms players in to take over selected Openreach assets (at privatisation book value plus subsquent investments), or ask the mobile telcos to do it.
Should that seem unfeasible, I'd point to the prior sale of selected regional gas distribution networks in the UK by Nnation Grid Transco, at the behest of OFGEM.
But with no threat, BT won't do anything (except run high speed broadband to the chairman's country palace).