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Cox Communications extends its high-speed internet coverage to Archer

Archer Mayor Iris Bailey addressed the crowd on Wednesday during the announcement about Cox internet service arriving in her city. (Richard Bennett/WUFT News)
Archer Mayor Iris Bailey addressed the crowd on Wednesday during the announcement about Cox internet service arriving in her city. (Richard Bennett/WUFT News)

Cox Communications made waves in Archer on Wednesday morning touting its launch of high-speed internet access to the rural community.  Its expansion efforts are part of the company's goal of bringing broadband to underserved rural communities.

The expansion includes gigabit internet speeds that the company says will reliably serve the people of Archer with fast, fiber optic-powered internet that will help over 500 residents and businesses in the town, according to a Cox press release.

The high-speed internet was activated for the community the night before, President of Cox Communications Mark Greatrex said at the event.

The service is said to be provided to the city at an affordable rate to allow low-income households to have access to reliable internet at a lower cost.“We provide a subsidy, and they can get home broadband at a really affordable rate,” Greatrex addressed. “And then we're working with the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a $30 a month subsidy to make internet even more affordable. ”

Several prominent figures attended the event, including the President of Cox Communications, Mark Greatrex, the Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Alachua County, Jayne Moraski and Archer Mayor Iris Bailey.

Cox also partnered with the state of Florida through Florida’s Broadband Infrastructure Program to expand its service to rural communities beyond Alachua County in parts of Northwest and Central Florida, according to a Cox press release.

“We were able to win, just last week, a very big grant from the state of Florida, $82 million, to develop a public-private partnership to build out to around 15,000 Unserved and underserved homes,” Greatrex said. “That's about 900 miles of fiber.”

Cox also donated $10,000 to the Education Foundation of Alachua County for educational use around STEM alongside several educational robotics tools for Archer Elementary School.

“We're making a donation through the Education Foundation of $10,000, in kind.” Greatrex said at the press conference. “In hard cash!”

As a rural town on the outskirts of Alachua County, Archer's elected leadership was very thankful for the attention and broadband access.

“We have access to Cox's reliable services and their giga-grid,” Bailey said. “Archer is small, but now, and I think Mark said as of last night, we are a ‘gig-city.’”

Richard is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.