Q: So AT&T is breaking up into smaller companies again. Will this affect my long-distance service?
A: Not right away. The restructuring won't be completed until next year. And if it makes AT&T more efficient, as intended, new services could arise and get to customers more quickly. For now, it's impossible to predict the impact on customers' long-distance rates.
Q: How does the corporate change affect my AT&T phone and other telecommunications equipment I own made by AT&T?
A: Warranties and service agreements on all of AT&T's consumer products _ from phones to answering machines _ will be honored by an as-yet unnamed company that will be spun off from AT&T under the new corporate plan.
Q: Suppose I'm not an AT&T customer. How does this affect me?
A: AT&T is the nation's most widely held stock. Even if you haven't directly purchased a share, your pension plan or mutual fund could very well be an owner. For each share in AT&T now held, the restructuring would give holders a stake in each of the three newly created companies, and a possible increased value for their investment.
Q: Will I still be able to buy phone products at AT&T retail stores?
A: It's not clear whether AT&T's retail stores will remain open.
Q: Will the restructuring make it easier for me to buy services _ like long-distance or cellular _ from AT&T?
A: That's one of the company's goals. One possibility is providing "one-stop shopping" so customers won't have to talk to several different people when they want to buy a range of products.
Q: Will my AT&T personal computer and related devices be orphaned?
A: No. Although AT&T is spinning off its computer manufacturing division to shareholders, the new company is expected to honor service agreements and warranties.
_ ASSOCIATED PRESS