Case Study: Bluegrass Cellular

Customer Profile

Company Name: Bluegrass Cellular

Industry: Telecom

Company Facts: Serves 40 counties in rural Kentucky.

Solution Brief

Challenge: Rough terrain in Kentucky 50/50 buried vs. aerial projects.

Finley Services: 76 mile fiber build-out. Completed design and layout, bid process and construction management, billing supervision and RUS Standards.

Bluegrass Cellular, Inc., provides a cellular network covering 40 counties in rural Kentucky. Bluegrass Network, LLC was created by the five ownership companies of Bluegrass Cellular in order to build and manage a fiber optic network that ties the five companies’ networks together and facilitates the provisioning of Internet, video and voice services. Bluegrass Network, LLC now manages more than 400 miles of fiber optic cable in south central Kentucky.

For all 16 years of Denny Lish’s career with Bluegrass Cellular, he has engaged Finley Engineering for their aerial and buried network projects. “Hiring Finley Engineering frees us up to concentrate on administrative, maintenance and general operations. Ultimately hiring them saves us money. We truly would be completely and totally lost without Finley,” said Lish, Manager of Network, Budget & Forecasting for Bluegrass.

The most recent project completed by Finley’s Kentucky Offi ce was a 76 mile fi ber build-out for which Finley Engineering completed the design and layout, created the bid process and oversaw the construction. “Some of our projects are buried and some are aerial, about a 50:50 ratio,” said Lish. “The terrain in Kentucky is very hilly, very rural, very mountainous and a whole lotta rock.”

Bluegrass Cellular follows the RUS contract specifi cations for all of their engineering, regardless of whether the project is technically RUS or not. Finley writes up the contracts according to those specs and the contracts are held to those standards.

“The last thing Finley will do on a project is to oversee the billing to make sure it’s correct. That’s one big detail any company would be concerned about and a service we greatly value,” Lish said.

Finley also works on planning with Bluegrass and has been granted the authority from Bluegrass to represent them on anything involving the State of Kentucky for road moves. The two companies also sit down together and discuss the next four to fi ve years to understand upcoming project, industry trends and pressures and assess the Bluegrass engineering needs.

While Bluegrass does rely heavily on their working relationship with Finley based on their successful track record, it is notable to point out Bluegrass has a company policy of collecting a minimum of three bids on any project they approve and when they renew contracts. Lish stated there is no comparison when you review services and price to what Finley Engineering brings to the table.

The Bluegrass rating for their overall experience working with Finley? “Absolutely excellent.”


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