IntraLATA refers to any telephone call that is made between two separate local telephone companies that are close enough to not constitute a long-distance call. To fully understand IntraLATA and InterLATA systems, a user must understand that a LATA, or Local Access and Transport Area, is a local telephone company that is responsible for managing a city or subdivision of a county.
When making calls to someone who is in the same LATA, one telephone company can manage the call and does not need to outsource the call to anyone else, making the call much cheaper. When making calls to someone who is in a nearby LATA, the local telephone company must outsource the call to an LEC, or Local Exchange Carrier, who is responsible for handing the call to a different telephone company.
When making calls to someone who is in a different state or country, however, the LEC must outsource the call to an IXC, or Interexchange Carrier, who is responsible for handing the call to a different LEC, who will then hand the call to a local telephone company.
Although a local telephone company must hand the call to an LEC if it is outside of their LATA, many “local telephone companies” are now LECs themselves, allowing them to handle calls to a very large area without outsourcing the call. However, the company may still charge the subscriber extra for passing the call to a different location. Likewise, a local telephone company or LEC may also be an IXC, allowing them to maintain calls over an extremely large area, such as an entire country or a large portion of it.