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Middle Tennesseans Begin Preparations For New Area Code

WUOT News, Todd Steed

  Since 1995, the 615 area code has been synonymous with Nashville and its surrounding areas.  That will soon change.

Nashville’s rapid population growth and the emergence of cell phones and other communication devices means the 615 code will soon run out of phone numbers.  Beginning in March, all new phone numbers from within the existing 615 area code will contain the new code 629.

As a result, Nashvillians will no longer have the luxury of dialing only seven digits when calling another person within the same area.  Starting this Friday, ten-digit calling will become available; on February 28, 2015, it will become mandatory.  A month after that, the Tennessee Regulatory Authority will begin assigning the 629 area code. 

Area codes were first put into place in 1947 and the entire state of Tennessee was covered by the 901 code.  In 1954, anyone living in Middle or East Tennessee was switched over to the 615 code.  In 1995, regulators added the 423 area code for East Tennessee and the 615 became the exclusive domain of those living in Nashville and the 12 counties surrounding it (The 865 area code was added four years later for the Knoxville area). 

In 2012, the North American Numbering Plan Administration informed the TRA the 615 would run dry by the second quarter of 2015.  The resulting 629 overlay was approved last October and will be implemented on March 28, 2015.