Government-controlled NBN Co has taken an aggressive step in an emerging war against internet provider TPG, this morning announcing plans to accelerate the rollout of its broadband service for apartments.
In a statement provocatively titled "a commercial response to cherry pickers", the move is a direct reaction to internet service provider TPG's plans - announced late last year - to provide its own fibre to the basement network for the NBN to service up to 500,000 apartments in the Eastern States.
Other companies such as Perth's iiNet, which already has similar internal networks in the Eastern States, have indicated it would follow suit if the move was given the green light by regulators.
The battle for apartment buildings is considered vital because only one retail provider of the NBN can provide commercially viable fibre to the basement services for the NBN.
The move by TPG would then potentially lock down certain apartment building residents to its service.
New NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow said the move by NBN, understood to be for about 50,000 apartments in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, would keep the NBN service in high-density urban areas competitive.
"The NBN levels the playing field for Australian telecommunications and creates real and vibrant competition," Mr Morrow said.
"We can make this statement because the NBN doesn't sell directly to consumers and is open to all retail service providers to use on equal terms.
"Vertically-integrated carriers - companies that both own networks and market to consumers - cannot offer those same guarantees. A building that signs up to TPG runs the risk of being left with only one retail service provider - TPG itself."