LATA (local access and transport area) is a term in the U.S. for a geographic area covered by one or more local telephone companies, which are legally referred to as local exchange carriers (LECs). A connection between two local exchanges within the LATA is referred to as intraLATA. A connection between a carrier in one LATA to a carrier in another LATA is referred to as interLATA. InterLATA is long-distance service. The current rules for permitting a company to provide intraLATA or interLATA service (or both) are based on the Telecommunications Act of 1996.