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Overview[]

Local access and transport area (LATA) is a term used in U.S. telecommunications regulation. It represents a geographical area of the United States under the terms of the Modification of Final Judgment (MFJ) entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Civil Action number 82-0192 or any other geographic area designated as a LATA in the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. Tariff FCC No. 4. that precipitated the breakup of the original AT&T into the "Baby Bells" or created since that time for wireline regulation.

Generally, a LATA represents an area within which a divested Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) is permitted to offer exchange telecommunications and exchange access services. Under the terms of the MFJ, the RBOCs are generally prohibited from providing services that originate in one LATA and terminate in another.

LATA boundaries tend to be drawn around markets, and not necessarily along existing state or area code borders. Some LATAs cross over state boundaries, such as those for the New York metropolitan area and Greenwich, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and areas between Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.


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