Area codes 615 and 629

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This article is about the telephone area code for Nashville, Tennessee. For the band from Nashville, see Area Code 615 (band).

Area codes 615 and 629 are area codes in Tennessee serving Nashville (Davidson County) and the 12 surrounding counties. 615 is the main area code, while 629 is an overlay covering the same area that will begin service in 2014. Besides Nashville, Murfreesboro, Franklin, Hendersonville, and Lebanon are other major cities in the 615/629 service territory.

History[edit]

When area codes were introduced in October 1947, Tennessee's only area code was 901. During 1954, in a flash-cut, most of the state east of the Tennessee River was assigned 615, while 901 was restricted to Memphis and the western third of the state. This configuration remained in place for over 41 years.

In September 1995, most of the eastern portion of 615--including Chattanooga, Knoxville, and the Tri-Cities--was assigned area code 423. As a result, the state's three area codes were roughly coextensive with the traditional Grand Divisions of Tennessee; 423 served almost all of East Tennessee, 615 served Middle Tennessee and 901 served West Tennessee.

Although this was intended to be a long-term solution, within a year 615 was nearing exhaustion due to the rapid growth of the Nashville area, as well as the proliferation of cell phones and pagers. This forced yet another split in September 1997; the 615 area was reduced to its current size, while most of the western, southern and eastern portions of the old 615 territory--including Clarksville, Cookeville, Columbia, and Tullahoma--was split off as area code 931, which now almost entirely surrounds 615. This made 615 largely coextensive with the inner ring of the Nashville metropolitan area.

In 1999, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) informed the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) that the available telephone numbers in the 615 area code would be exhausted by the fourth quarter of 2000.[1] The TRA and telecommunications providers implemented several number conservation measures[1] that succeeded in averting the predicted crisis. In 2003 the NANPA notified the TRA that the area code was not projected to exhaust its supply of numbers for at least five years.[2] As of March 2012 it was estimated that it would exhaust in the second quarter of 2015, by which time an additional split or an overlay might be necessary.[3][4] An overlay of 615 - which would be Tennessee's first overlay - has been recommended.[5][6]

The overlay code, 629, was approved on 21 October 2013. Current plans call for permissive dialing to begin on 26 July 2014, during which it will be possible to make calls with either seven or ten digits (the latter with the area code). Ten-digit dialing will become mandatory in the 615/629 area on 28 February 2015.[7][8][9] Nashville had been one of the largest cities where seven-digit dialing was still possible.

In popular culture[edit]

The Nashville country-rock band Area Code 615, active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, took its name from the area code.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Tennessee area codes: 423, 615(/629), 731, 865, 901, 931
North: 270
West: 931 area code 615 (/629) East: 931
South: 931
Kentucky area codes: 270/364, 502, 606, 859