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The creation of 706 was intended as a long-term solution to relieve exchanges in north Georgia. However, within a short time 404 was close to exhaustion once again due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers in the fast-growing Atlanta metro area. While it was apparent that the metro area could not stay entirely within 404, 770 was put into service sooner than anticipated as part of the fallout from the creation of 706. Due to exurban resident complaints about the original BellSouth maps leaving them no longer associated with the well-known 404, those rapidly growing areas were put back into 404, forcing the entire suburban ring of metro Atlanta to lose 404 sooner than necessary.
Currently, 770 completely surrounds 404. The two area codes are split roughly by Interstate 285, known locally as the Perimeter. Generally, 770 includes most of the metro area outside the Perimeter, while 404 serves Atlanta itself and most suburbs inside the Perimeter. Both codes are now overlaid by 678, and 470 (potentially very confusing with 404 and 770, and adjacent Middle Georgia's 478, North, East and West Central Georgia's 706/762,and Alabama's 256/938 ). The metro Atlanta region (404, 770, 678, 470 and parts of 706) is the world's largest toll-free calling zone, and no long-distance charges are applied for calls from one portion of the metro to the other.
hall County - Population 179,684