Area code 865

Area code 865 serves Knoxville, Tennessee, and the nine surrounding counties (Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Roane, Sevier, and Union) in central East Tennessee. The area incorporates most of the region defined as the Knoxville-Sevierville-La Follette Combined Statistical Area.

Cities in the 865 area include Knoxville, Alcoa, Bean Station, Clinton, Gatlinburg, Harriman, Jefferson City, Kingston, Lenoir City, Maryville, Maynardville, Norris, Oak Ridge, Pigeon Forge, Plainview, Rockwood, Rutledge, and Sevierville.


When area codes were first instituted in 1947, area code 901 was assigned as the sole area code for Tennessee. In 1954, 901 was restricted to West Tennessee, while everything east of the Tennessee River was split off into area code 615.

This division remained in place for 41 years, until area code 423 was created as the area code for most of East Tennessee, with 615 restricted to Middle Tennessee. The state's three area codes were now roughly coextensive with the Grand Divisions of Tennessee.

This was intended as a long-term solution. However, due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers, it was determined that the 423 area code would be exhausted by the fall of 1999, forcing a split of the area code only four years after its creation.. The supply of numbers was further limited because Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities were part of LATAs that spill into Georgia and Virginia.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority requested that the code 865 be assigned to Knoxville when the area was split from 423. This was because on a standard telephone keypad, the numbers 865 correspond to the letters VOL, the commonly used short version of Volunteers, which is the formal nickname of the sports teams at the University of Tennessee.[1]

865 began its split on October 1, 1999; permissive dialing continued until February 1, 2000.[2][3] This resulted in 423 becoming one of the few non-contiguous area codes in the country; 865 is now almost entirely surrounded by the two sections of 423. However, while neither Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities were large enough for area codes of their own, they were too large to follow Knoxville into 865.

The area code is referenced in Mr. Mack's rap song Where You From (Da 865), which is about the greater Knoxville area.[4]

See also


  2. See Brewer, Bill. "423 Area Code To Become VOL In 9 ET Counties." Knoxville News-Sentinel. April 17, 1999.
  3. Tennessee Regulatory Authority press release, April 29, 1999
  4. Jer Cole, Rapper proud to represent the 865, Knoxville News-Sentinel, July 28, 2006.

External links

Tennessee area codes: 423, 615(/629), 731, 865, 901, 931
North: 423
West: 931 area code 865 East: 423, 828
South: 423
North Carolina area codes: 252, 336, 704, 828, 910, 919, 980

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