Area codes 617 and 857

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Map showing the region covered by area codes 617 and 857
Map of current Massachusetts area codes (since May 2001)
Massachusetts area codes October 1947-July 1988

Area code 617 (created in 1947) is the area code for the cities of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Quincy, Massachusetts (LATA code 128).

It was one of the original area codes from October 1947, and originally covered the eastern half of Massachusetts from Cape Cod in the east to Worcester in the west. The decision to assign 617 to Boston was somewhat unusual, since the North American Numbering Plan Administrator wanted to keep the number of "clicks" to a minimum for large cities given the rotary dialing technology of the time.[1] Area code 617 has 14 clicks, one of the most for an original area code assigned to a major city.

Due to the rapid growth of Boston's suburbs, most of the western and southern portion split off as 508 in 1988. This was intended as a long-term solution, but within a decade 617 was close to exhaustion once again due to the demand for more phone lines for auxiliary devices (mobile phones, fax machines, pagers, and BBS lines). In 1997, most of Boston's outer suburbs split off as 781, which almost completely surrounds 617. This reduced 617 to essentially the inner ring of Greater Boston. On May 2, 2001, 857 was overlaid onto 617. Since then, 10 digit local dialing is mandatory.

Splits from area code 617[edit]



Portions of the following counties are covered:

Central Office codes (By location)[edit]



N11 codes[edit]

Main article: N11 code

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Massachusetts area codes: 339, 351, 413, 508, 617, 774, 781, 857, 978
North: 339/781
West: 339/781Area codes 617/857East: Atlantic Ocean
South: 339/781