A geographical area defined by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a result of the Modified Final Judgement (MFJ) that broke up the AT&T Bell System on January 1, 1984. The Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) and their component Bell Operating Companies (BOCs) were prevented from offering interLATA toll services, i.e., long distance calling services that crossed LATA boundaries. Initially, the BOCs had the exclusive rights to offer intraLATA toll service, also known as local long distance, within the confines of the 196 defined LATAs. LATAs now serve primarily as reference points for call rating and routing. See also BOC, FCC, MFJ, and RBOC.
(Local Access and Transport Area) The geographic region set up to differentiate local and long distance telephone calls within the U.S. Telephone calls between parties within a LATA (intraLATA) are handled by the local telephone companies and are under the jurisdiction of the state's public utility commission. Calls between LATAs are handled by interexchange carriers (IXCs) and are governed by the FCC. See PUC and FCC.