Beginning July 26, 2014, Tennessee residents and businesses in the 615 area code can start dialing ten digits — area code + telephone number — when making local calls. Beginning February 28, 2015, everyone in the 615 area code will be required to dial ten digits (area code + telephone number).
TDS Telecom is alerting residents and businesses in the Middle Tennessee region about the upcoming changes. The Tennessee Regulatory Authority approved the addition of a new area code—629. Known as an “Area Code Overlay,” this change affects residents served by the 615 area code in communities such as La Vergne, Mount Juliet, Nashville, Franklin, Murfreesboro and Lebanon. The change ensures availability of an ongoing supply of telephone numbers in Tennessee.
When two area codes serve the same region, rules of the Federal Communications Commission require callers to change the way they dial local calls. While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they will be required to ten-digit dial all local calls (area code and seven-digit telephone number).
What residents and businesses need to know about the area code overlay:
- Existing phone numbers in the 615 area code will not change.
- The price for calls, local and long-distance calling areas, and other rates and services provided by TDS will not change due to the new Area Code Overlay. What’s a local call now remains a local call, regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- The dialing procedure for long distance or operator assisted calls will not change.
- 911 remains a three-digit dial. If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are available currently, they will remain a three-digit dial.
Dates to keep in mind
- July 26, 2014: “permissive” ten-digit dialing period begins; callers should begin using the new dialing procedure. If callers forget to use the area code and dial only the seven-digit number, calls will still be completed during this permissive phase.
- February 28, 2015: “mandatory” ten-digit local dialing begins. Customers in the 615 area code must use ten-digit dialing for all local calls, otherwise, calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again.
- March 28, 2015: Phone numbers with the new 629 area code may begin to be assigned.
In addition to changing dialing procedures, customers are encouraged to begin reprogramming automatic dialing equipment and other devices programmed with seven digits. This includes PBX systems, electronic telephone sets, auto-dial systems, multi-line key systems, life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, and voicemail services. All such devices will need to be reprogrammed with ten-digits (area code + telephone number) by February 28, 2015.
Residents and businesses should also check with security or alarm companies to make sure their systems are programmed to handle the new dialing pattern.