On July 2, 2010 Com Net was awarded $30 million in federal stimulus funding for their GigE Plus project. The project will add almost 700 new miles of fiber to its high capacity network in order to expand existing broadband services through the GigE Plus Availability Coalition (GigEPAC) partners to rural and underserved communities in 28 Western Ohio Counties.
Com Net, in partnership with OARnet, Zayo Bandwidth and 33 last mile service providers, came together for the federal stimulus application to fulfill the vision for the GigE Plus project. The project proposes to:
- Provide Connectivity for as many as 880 community anchor institutions to its high capacity fiber network including K-12, state and local government, public safety, libraries and community support organization facilities
- Spur affordable broadband access for local consumers and businesses by enabling local service providers to connect to the GigE Plus project's open network
- Encourage investment in economically distressed counties served by the project, 20 of which have unemployment rates higher than the state average
Com Net maintains an open access policy in association with the project, which means that any provider will be able to access the network at reasonable rates and terms.
After successfully completing a study to ensure CNI's GigE Plus Project is deployed in an environmentally friendly manner and weathering one of the rainiest springs in years, Com Net entered the construction phase with its project in June 2011.