local area and transport area (access area) (LATA)
Local Area and Transport Area (LATA) is an American term for the local area of communications networks.
When the U.S. market was deregulated in 1984, the total market was divided into 161 small geographic units called LATA. Only local telecommunications carriers, orLECs, are allowed to provide access and services within the LATA, but they are not allowed to provide inter-LATA services, which are services between exchanges. These are provided by the Interexchange Carriers( IXC).