Internet services provider iiNet has drawn a line in the sand over an impending battle with NBN Co, ruling out any moves to emulate Eastern States-focused TPG's plan to build fibre-to-the- basement networks in apartment and office buildings.
An iiNet spokesman confirmed yesterday the company was happy with the flagged future arrangement where NBN Co would build the networks within apartment blocks, enabling the customer to purchase a NBN package from it or another internet provider.
The response came after the Federal Government-backed NBN Co moved yesterday to run out NBN "cherry pickers", after TPG revealed plans to build its own fibre-to-the-basement network for the NBN to service up to 500,000 apartments in the Eastern States.
The move would likely lock customers into TPG contracts because it would not be financially viable for the NBN, or another provider, to build another network. Fibre-to-the-basement is one of the main components of the coalition's new "mixed-technology" strategy, where fibre would be laid to the basement of an apartment building. The rest of the connection would be via existing copper networks.
But NBN Co said it would fast track its own rollout of the network to apartments and offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in a bid to push out TPG.
iiNet is part of the NBN- backed trials and hooked up its first apartment-based NBN customer in Melbourne last week.
Industry analysts were expecting iiNet to follow TPG's lead if it cleared all regulatory hurdles. But yesterday's announcement triggered some analysts to question if TPG would follow through with its plan.