Verizon Communications says that it has signed an agreement to acquire “certain assets” of Bluegrass Cellular, a wireless operator in rural central Kentucky with which it has a long relationship. The Verizon Bluegrass deal will bring Verizon 210,000 customers in 34 counties.
The deal, which is expected to close this year or in early 2021, is subject to FCC approvals and other conditions. No information about the purchase price or terms of the acquisition were provided.
“We launched the first wireless company in central Kentucky 29 years ago,” Bluegrass Cellular President Ron Smith said in a press release. “We’ve always known that our customers were the most important part of our business, and we pride ourselves on playing an important role in connecting our community. I’m confident that Verizon will continue to be the same good neighbor that we’ve been and will provide crucial and reliable wireless connectivity to our rural communities.”
The Verizon Bluegrass deal is the latest development in a relationship that dates back at least a decade: Bluegrass joined Verizon’s LTE in Rural America Partnership in November 2010.
In addition to mobile service throughout central Kentucky, Bluegrass also offers a fixed wireless home internet product. Bluegrass offers three different tiers, starting at $35/month and the service does not require an antenna to be installed at the home
In October, Bluegrass Cellular was one of five carriers to co-sign with the C-Band Alliance of satellite operators. The company – along with Pine Belt Wireless, U.S. Cellular, AT&T and Verizon – backed a proposal in which the alliance offered to clear 300 MHz of C-band spectrum for an auction. The alliance previously had suggested 100 MHz less spectrum be put on the block.