In the days following AT&T's announcement that it is buying BellSouth Corp. for $67 billion in stock in a bid that further consolidates the telecommunications industry, education leaders and other consumers were mulling the possible implications of the deal.

The proposed purchase, announced March 5, would give AT&T total control of the firms' growing joint venture, Cingular Wireless LLC. It also would go a long way toward resurrecting the old Ma Bell telephone system, which was broken apart by the federal courts in 1984.

The merged company reportedly would have


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