my advice to you is DONT go anywhere near VM. Im from South Shields, and the service here is diabolical. Started at the start of the year, and as stated earlier, VM are known for taking absolutely forever to fix congestion issues. Planning permission is needed from the council to dig up streets and whatnot, and the whole process can take upwards of a year.
My advice is go with BT FTTC if its available in your area.
Connection - Virgin Media 100Mbps @ 50m. BQM