The recent discussion of cell phone rating missed an important detail. In the 1990s, rate centers literally Did Not Matter in many areas because cell phones did not have regular phone numbers with rate centers attached to them.
The ILECs had tariffs -- at least in NYNEXland it was called Feature Group 2A -- which cell phone companies could subscribe to, in getting their connections to the ILEC tandems. FG2A took prefix codes and made them "oddball" -- local to the whole LATA. So my cell phone number, when assigned to me by NYNEX Mobile, was technically in the Saugus rate center (not local to squat) but since it was FG2A and in my area code (617), it was offered as a local number.
One summer in the 1990s, we rented a house on Cape Cod. It had a NYNEX phone that was allowed to make local calls only; toll calls required a calling card. Our home phone could not be called. Our mobile numbers (both 617, nowhere near there) could be called on that line.
When mobile number portability took effect, this all ended. The ILECs were aghast at the possibility that a wireline phone could be a local call FROM the whole LATA. So FG2A went away, and mobile rate centers counted again. This made my cell phone a +1 call from home, though fortunately we had a plan that still made it no charge. But I suppose there are some people who would pay a toll to call me. Had I known fifteen years ago that this would happen, I would probably have asked for a nominally-local number.
But then the whole rate center thing is totally obsolete anyway. The telcos are just holding onto it for the sake of some intercarrier access charges (not applicable on calls to or from mobiles, for which any call in the Major Trading Area is wholesale-rated as local) and retail toll (to off-plan subcribers).
-- Fred Goldstein k1io fgoldstein "at" ionary.com ionary Consulting+1 617 795 2701