Countdown: 60 Days to New Massachusetts Area Codes

Full Transparency

Our editorial transparency tool uses blockchain technology to permanently log all changes made to official releases after publication.

More of our content is being permanently logged via blockchain technology starting [10.23.2020].

Learn more

July 2, 1997

CONTACT: Boston: Joe
617-743-1278 or Outside Boston: your local NYNEX media representative

Countdown: 60 Days to New Massachusetts Area Codes

BOSTON -- With just 60 days left before two new Massachusetts area codes are
activated, even residents and businesses keeping their area codes will have to make
some changes. In order to keep in touch with business associates, friends and relatives,
consumers may need to reprogram speed dialing features on telephones, fax machines,
and computer modems with the new area codes.

Everyone in Massachusetts will have to change they way they dial some calls.
Under an order issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in May,
local calls to another area code will now be dialed using just the area code and
the 7-digit number. Toll calls to other area codes will continue to require 11-digit

Here is how calls are placed today, and how some calls will change beginning
September 1:

Type of Call


September 1, 1997

Local within area code

7-digit telephone


Local to another area code

1+area code + 7-digit number

area code + 7-digit number

Calls outside local calling area

1+area code + 7-digit number


The two new area codes -- 781 and 978 -- will help keep pace with consumer
demand for voice lines, fax machines, computers, pagers, and cellular phones, as
well as demand for telephone exchanges from new companies providing local telephone
services in Massachusetts.

The existing 617 and 508 area codes will split and half of the customers in
Eastern Massachusetts will change the area code portion of their phone numbers.

If your area code is changing, here are a few things you can do to ease the
transition to the new codes:

Tell all the people you deal with locally, nationally or internationally:

  • Customers and suppliers
  • Business associates
  • Friends and relatives

Make sure to include your new area code on all printed materials:

  • Stationery
  • Business cards
  • Invoices
  • Purchase orders
  • Brochures/catalogs/promotional materials
  • Product packaging
  • Internal records
  • Checks
  • Company directories
  • Labels

Businesses: Check with your suppliers to make sure your equipment can handle
the two new area codes:

  • PBX systems
  • Pagers/beepers
  • Cellular phones (Some area codes will change, others will remain the same.
    Check with your cellular carrier to determine if the area code split affects you.)
  • Customer-owned pay phones
  • Medical alert systems
  • Fire/Security alarm companies

Make sure your new area code appears in all advertising:

  • Yellow Pages advertising
  • Newspaper/magazine ads
  • TV/Radio ads
  • Classified ads
  • Signage
  • Internet sites
  • Recorded messages
  • Promotional materials (mugs, key chains, pens, etc.)
  • Motor Vehicles

NYNEX will automatically reprogram or modify:

  • Centrex systems
  • Foreign exchange service
  • NYNEX White Pages listings (beginning September 1997)
  • Remote line
  • Voice Messaging
  • Call Forwarding II (Busy Line/Don't Answer)

Blocking services for 550, 554, 900, 920, 940, 976 exchanges The statewide
three-month permissive dialing period beginning September 1 will enable callers to
dial calls using either the old or new dialing patterns. On December 1, 1997 NYNEX
will begin converting its switching centers across Eastern Massachusetts to accept
only the new area codes and dialing pattern. After each local switch is converted,
calls cannot be completed without the correct area code or dialing pattern. Callers
will hear announcements instructing them how to redial. The new area codes and dialing
pattern will not change telephone service rates.

# # #

New Massachusetts Area Codes

Communities in 617 Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea,
Everett, Newton, Milton, Quincy, Somerville, Winthrop

Communities in 508 Ascushnet, Ashland, Attleboro, Auburn,
Avon, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Blackstone, Bourne, Boylston, Brewster, Bridgewater,
Brockton, Brookfield, Carver, Charlton, Chatham, Chilmark, Dartmouth, Dennis, Dighton,
Douglas, Dover, Dudley, E. Bridgewater, E. Brookfield, Eastham, Easton, Edgartown,
Fairhaven, Fall River, Falmouth, Foxboro, Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gay Head,
Gosnold, Grafton, Harwich, Holden, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Leicester, Lakeville,
Mansfield, Marion, Marlborough, Mashpee, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Medway, Mendon,
Middleborough, Millbury, Milford, Millis, Millville, Nantucket, Natick, New Bedford,
New Braintree, Norfolk, N. Attleboro, Northborough, Northbridge, N. Brookfield, Norton,
Oak Bluffs, Oakham, Orleans, Oxford, Paxton, Plainville, Plymouth, Provincetown,
Raynham, Rehoboth, Rochester, Rutland, Sandwich, Seekonk, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Southborough,
Southbridge, Somerset, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Swansea, Taunton, Tisbury, Truro,
Upton, Uxbridge, Walpole, Wareham, Wayland, Webster, Wellfleet, Westborough, W. Boylston,
W. Bridgewater, W. Brookfield, Westport, W.Tisbury, Worcester, Wrentham, Yarmouth

Communities in 978 Acton, Amesbury, Andover, Ashburnham, Ashby,
Athol, Ayer, Barre, Berlin, Beverly, Billerica, Bolton, Boxborough, Boxford, Carlisle,
Chelmsford, Clinton, Concord, Danvers, Dracut, Dunstable, Essex, Fitchburg, Gardner,
Georgetown, Gloucester, Groton, Groveland, Hamilton, Harvard, Haverhill, Hubbardston,
Hudson, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lawrence, Leominster, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Manchester,
Maynard, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Newbury, Newburyport, New Salem, N. Andover,
N. Reading, Orange, Peabody, Pepperell, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Rockport,
Rowley, Royalston, Salem, Salisbury, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Sudbury, Templeton,
Tewksbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Warwick, Wendell, Wenham, Westford, Westminster,
W. Newbury, Wilmington, Winchendon

Communities in 781 Abington, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont*,
Braintree, Burlington, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson,
Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Lexington, Lincoln, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Marblehead,
Marshfield, Medford, Melrose, Nahant, Needham, Norwell, Norwood, Pembroke, Plympton,
Randolph, Reading, Revere, Rockland, Saugus, Scituate, Sharon, Stoneham, Stoughton,
Swampscott, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown*, Wellesley, Weston, Westwood, Weymouth,
Whitman, Winchester, Woburn

* Pending legislation sponsored by Sen. Tolman could keep Belmont and
Watertown in the 617 area.

Related Articles


Virtual Reality (VR) has begun to transform medicine in profound ways. VR solutions are being used to train doctors and to plan and practice operations.


Verizon’s military discounts site shows everything you need to know about Wireless offers, FiOS savings and military career opportunities, all in one place, making it simple for service members and veterans to discover what Verizon has to offer.