New area code coming to midstate

New area code coming to midstate

Posted: Monday, February 7, 2011 8:01 pm
By: AP

NASHVILLE (AP) — A new area code is coming to Middle Tennessee and with it comes 10-digit dialing for everyone, even those within the same area code.
The 615 area code, which has been in service since 1954, is simply running out of numbers and has been flagged for exhaustion by the North American Numbering Plan Administration. A new code is needed to accommodate new telephone numbers.
Joe Cocke, with the NANPA, is helping facilitate the change. He told The Tennessean that adding a new code to the region is less burdensome to the public than splitting the region in two and forcing many people to change their numbers.
“It’s human nature to resist change, but this is not a high-burdensome change,” Cocke said. “The only con is that you’re losing your seven-digit dialing benefits.”
The 615 area code is predicted to exhaust itself at the end of 2013, but a new system needs to be in place before that happens.
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority still has to approve the plan to overlay the new code rather than split the district, but Cocke said it is the only viable alternative because a large majority of numbers with the 615 area code are in the Nashville area.
The TRA also must decide the time frame for the change. Interested parties in the telecommunications industry are recommending a 15-month implementation plan. A new code will be assigned once the TRA acts.
Federal regulations require that when a new code is introduced everyone must dial 10-digits, even for numbers within their own area code. The idea is to keep people and businesses with the new code from being at a disadvantage, NANPA Director John Manning said. “I don’t mind dialing the area code,” said 31-year-old Jamal Hutchinson, of East Nashville. “Most people have cell phones anyway and carry the area code with them from where they’re from. We’re used to it by now.”

Published in The Messenger 2.7.11

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