TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Please Explain LATA

Re: Please Explain LATA

Clark W. Griswold, Jr. (
Tue, 14 Jun 2005 20:42:27 -0600 wrote:

> Can somebody tell me what LATA is?

Local Access and Transport Area -- but you could have learned that from

This goes back to the days when Long Distance really meant something.

As a part of the AT&T breakup oh so many years ago and the
introduction of competitive long distance, the country was divided up
into a bunch of small areas. The local operating company was permitted
to handle calls within the LATA, but had to hand the call off to a
long distance company for calls outside the LATA.

Although LATAs had number similar to area codes, there was no
correlation. In low density areas (like North Dakota), the LATA and
area code covered the same territory. In high density areas an single
area code could have manay LATAs.

While LATAs almost certainly still exist on the books, the rules
changed a few years ago to allow local operating companies into the
long distance business. I'm not sure LATAs have any meaningful
significance anymore.

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