Verizon is acquiring the assets of Bluegrass Cellular, a rural wireless operator that serves central Kentucky. Terms were not disclosed.
Bluegrass Cellular, which provides wireless service to 210,000 customers in 34 counties, is a long-time partner with Verizon and collaborated with it to bring LTE services to some of the most rural parts of Kentucky the past several years.
“We are excited to acquire certain assets of Bluegrass Cellular and expand our footprint in Kentucky,” said Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming Bluegrass customers and employees into the Verizon family and providing them with reliable wireless service alongside a best-in-class customer experience.”
Without revealing details, a Verizon spokesperson said Verizon will bring its "world-class vision for 5G" to Bluegrass Cellular customers.
In a statement, Bluegrass Cellular President Ron Smith said they launched the first wireless company in central Kentucky 29 years ago.
“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,” Smith said. “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.”
Bluegrass is telling customers they don’t need to take any action at this time.
“At Bluegrass Cellular, we have taken great pride in playing an important role in connecting our community. We are confident that Verizon will continue to be the same good neighbor that we’ve been and will carry on our tradition of providing crucial and reliable wireless connectivity to our rural communities,” the company said on its website.
Verizon announced its rural LTE initiative in June 2010, and Bluegrass Cellular joined the program in November 2010. Through its LTE in Rural America (LRA) program, Verizon provided technical support and resources to help rural companies build out LTE and both Verizon and the rural companies were able to take advantage of that coverage.
The acquisition is expected to close late this year or early next after FCC approval and other conditions are met.