Officials preparing Midstate residents for new area code - WSMV Channel 4

Officials working to prepare Midstate residents for new area code

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

No matter where you turn, people are using them, either to talk, email or text a friend. Cell phones have become more common than the family car.

"Twenty years ago a household might have one telephone number. Now that they have a couple children, they could have three or four numbers, three or four other numbers at work. So the sheer usage of telephone numbers has driven us to this point," said David Foster with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

This, plus Nashville's recent population explosion, has driven the 615 area code to extinction. Come spring, all new numbers will be assigned to 629.

On Friday, regulators are encouraging everyone to begin dialing all 10 digits, regardless of where you live.

"No phone call will be interrupted or rerouted or you won't get a recording at that time saying your call will not go through. It's to try to get people acclimated in the next six or seven months," Foster said.

Come Feb. 28, you won't have a choice. That's the day the switch will be flipped.

"People will get used to it. It'll be for about a year, people will be all upset about it, but next thing you know, it'll be automatic," said Glenn Barber.

Some residents Channel 4 talked to said this was a good sign since other major cities have already resorted to using more than one area code, in some cases, three or four different area codes.

Businesses with pre-programmed numbers will get hit the hardest. As for the rest of us, the work has already been done, thanks to the contact lists in our cell phones.

"Most of the numbers are all stored anyway, so what difference does it make?" Barber said.

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