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    An InterLATA or long distance call refers to a telephone call made between two separate LATAs. LATA (Local Access and Transport Area) is a term used to describe the area that a local telephone company manages. Markets, rather than geographical areas, define LATAs. Therefore, LATAs can cross over state borders and use multiple area codes. An InterLATA requires IXC (Inter-eXchange Carrier) use, which is a company setup to handle long distance calls.

    How InterLATA Works

    InterLATA consists of various equipment and companies that transfer calls across two or more LATAs. When a telephone subscriber makes a long distance call to a recipient in another LATA, the local telephone company forwards the call to an IXC. The IXC then handles the calls via telephone lines, radio towers, or satellites and passes it off to a local telephone company in the recipient’s LATA, who then forwards the call to the recipient. If a local telephone company serves as its own IXC, it will simply send the call directly to the recipient or the recipient’s local telephone company.


    InterLATA is used for communication across long distances, which allows subscribers to contact their friends, family, and co-workers who live in other cities, states, and countries. Without InterLATA, subscribers would only be able to make telephone calls to recipients who live within the same market that their local telephone company covers. While InterLATA is generally used to describe residential telephone services, it can also be used to refer to long distance calls that cell phone subscribers make, including text messaging services.


    InterLATA is advantageous because it allows users to communicate with recipients in other areas. Because either the subscriber’s local telephone company provides InterLATA or the local telephone company outsources InterLATA to an IXC, the subscriber does not notice the transfer that is made or a delay in call time. However, the subscriber usually has to pay an additional fee for InterLATA services.

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    One comment
    1. Frederica Mathewes-Green

      19 January, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      I want to verify who my long distance carrier is. I see the number 1-700-555-4141 cited all over the internet as the number to dial for a recorded message that will tell me. But when I dial it I hear “Your call cannot be completed as dialed.” Has it been changed to a different number?

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