Area Code 617

MA, Area code 617

The History of Area Code 617

Area Code 617 is intrinsically tied to the history and evolution of telecommunications within the United States, particularly in Massachusetts. As the first area code assigned to this region, the story of Area Code 617 is one of growth, adaptation, and change, reflecting the nation’s rapid technological and population expansion throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries.

The concept of area codes is a product of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), established in 1947. Created to simplify and standardize dialing long-distance phone calls, the NANP divided North America into 86 numbering plan areas, and each assigned a unique three-digit code. Area Code 617 was one of the original area codes assigned to Massachusetts under this plan. It covered the entire eastern part of the state, including Boston, its capital and most populous city. By the 1980s, due to the increase in population and telephone usage, Area Code 617 began to experience number exhaustion. In this situation, the demand for phone numbers exceeds the available supply. The problem has been solved. The concept of area code splits was introduced, which involved dividing the geographic area covered by an existing area code into two or more regions, each receiving its own area code.

The story of Area Code 617 is a microcosm of the larger story of telecommunications in the United States, marked by rapid change and adaptation to new technologies. As we look ahead to the future of communication, it’s fascinating to reflect on the path that brought us here.

This list comprises all the towns and cities in Massachusetts that use area code 617:

Belmont, MA
Boston, MA
Brighton, MA
Brookline, MA
Cambridge, MA
Chelsea, MA
Dedham, MA
East Boston, MA
Everett, MA
Hyde Park, MA
Jamaica Plain, MA
Lynn, MA
Malden, MA
Medford, MA
Melrose, MA
Milton, MA
Needham, MA
Newton, MA
Quincy, MA
Revere, MA
Saugus, MA
Waltham, MA
Watertown, MA
Weston, MA
Westwood, MA
Winthrop, MA
Woburn, MA

617 Area Code FAQs

Q: What area code is 617?

A: Area code 617 is a telephone area code in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), explicitly serving Massachusetts, Boston, and its surrounding areas.

Q: When the 617 area code was created?

A: The 617 area code was created in 1947 as area codes assigned in the NANP.

Q: Where is area code 617?

A: Area code 617 covers the eastern and central parts of Massachusetts, including Boston, Brookline, Quincy, Cambridge, Newton, and other nearby cities and towns.

Q: Who needs to dial 1 before the 617 area code?

A: When dialing a phone number within the 617 area code, residents and businesses do not need to dial “1” before the area code. However, if you are dialing from outside the 617 area code, you must include the “1” followed by the area code when calling a number within that area.

Q: Why are area codes like 617 important?

A: Area codes, such as 617, are important for organizing and routing telephone calls within a specific geographic area. They help ensure that calls are correctly directed to the intended recipients within the designated region.

Q: Is Area Code 617 overlaid with another area code?

A:  Yes, area code 617 was overlaid on May 2, 2001, with another area code 857. 

Q: What other area codes are nearby area code 617?

A: Area code 857: This overlay area code serves the same geographic area as the 617 area code, ensuring that new phone numbers can be assigned without changing existing numbers. Area code 781: This area code covers the suburbs surrounding Boston, including cities like Waltham, Braintree, and Lynn.

Q: Can I obtain a phone number with Area Code 617?

A: It is possible to obtain a phone number with the 617 area code, provided it is available and has yet to be assigned to someone else.

Q: What is the population of the area covered by area code 617?

A: The population of area code 617 may have changed. Boston, one of this area’s largest cities, has a population of 675,647.

Q: What is the timezone for Area Code 617?

A: The timezone for the 617 area code is Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is UTC-5.

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