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Verizon acquires rural Kentucky wireless company Bluegrass Cellular

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Verizon said Monday it is acquiring “certain assets” of Bluegrass Cellular, a wireless service provider in rural Kentucky. According to a news release, Bluegrass Cellular was the first wireless provider in central Kentucky, launching in 1991. It serves 210,000 customers in 34 Kentucky counties.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it’s still subject to FCC approval, but is expected to close later this year or early in 2021, according to Verizon. The companies have had a working relationship for several years; in 2012 Bluegrass launched LTE service in Kentucky as part of Verizon’s LTE in Rural America program. As part of that program, Verizon leased some of its spectrum in rural areas.

And in July, Verizon announced it was launching new home internet on its 4G LTE wireless network in some rural communities not served by its Fios or 5G Home options. The communities included Savannah, Georgia; Springfield, Missouri; and the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky.

Bluegrass is Verizon’s second acquisition in as many months; in September the company announced it was buying Tracfone in a deal worth more than $6 billion. Tracfone is the largest reseller of wireless services in the US, with 21 million subscribers; before the deal, more than 13 million Tracfone customers were already relying on Verizon’s wireless network since Tracfone doesn’t have its own physical network in the US.

The deal adds to Verizon’s lead over rivals T-Mobile and AT&T as the largest carrier in the US; at the end of 2019 the company had $131.9 billion in revenue.

Bluegrass customers don’t need to take any action; they’ll receive information about services from Verizon, according to the news release.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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