Do you know your LATA?

stuffI don’t know my Local Access and Transport Area. In fact, I tried to google LATA and aside from one rather confusing Wikipedia article, there wasn’t much. Once upon a time, knowing your LATA was important to some people, especially those who were trying to reduce their long-distance phone bills (think MCI family and friends) Including a beloved, late relative of ours.

I never did know my LATA and I’m not sure that a LATA makes much difference any more. I can’t remember the last time I used my land line to make a long-distance call. It may even have been the time we called Mouse in Dakar on Christmas and ended up with a $470 bill. Yes, you read that right. I didn’t put a decimal point in that number because why bother? It would’ve been after the zero. I bet if the Google had been around back in the days of the LATA, there would’ve been about a gazillion phone-related results for LATA.

So. People want to know. How expensive are them thar smart phones. Like the iPhone… Well. I went through a bunch of website gyrations today to be able log on to “my” ATT site so I could figger out what we are paying for. I mean, I *know* that we pay roughly $130 a month for two iPhones but I couldn’t remember how those costs were broken down. This is for old (2G?) phones: $20 a month *each* for “data” (that means Internet connection), $70 a month for phone service ($60 for the first phone and $10 for the second), plus the usual inscrutable “surcharges”, et al. If you are light-weight phone users like we are and you don’t tell Twitter to send your messages as text messages (like someone we all know and love but will remain un-named), you won’t pay anything much extra.

I have an *old* iPhone. I am not sure what the charges will be with the new ones. I *think* that we at least won’t have to pay $600 each for new phones. I hope not. It isn’t all that clear what the exact costs will be but I haven’t exactly been bird-dogging this stuff, so who knows… iPhone applications vary in price. Many of them are free or *very* inexpensive ($1-$5), at least if you are an old bag like me and don’t tend to download 5,000 99-cent applications per month. iBird is actually one of the more expensive ones I’ve encountered, $10 for the “cheep” version, $30 for the more comprehensive.

Again, I am done for the night. Seeya at 5 AM USB! –KW

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