Beginning September 11, 2023, customers in the 716-area code region in Western New York requesting new mobile or landline telephone service, an additional line, or a move in the location of their service, may be assigned a number in the new 624 area code. The creation of the new area code is expected to provide additional needed phone numbers for residents and businesses in the existing 716-area code region for years to come.
The New York State Public Service Commission in October 2022 approved a new area code for the area served by 716 using an area code overlay. An overlay occurs when two or more area codes serve the same geographical area.
The new 624-area code will be superimposed over the same geographical area served by the existing 716-area code. The 716-area code serves communities including, but not limited to, Buffalo, Jamestown, Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, Niagara Falls, and West Seneca as well as all or portions of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties.
The area code overlay requires consumers to continue to dial 10 digits for local calls (area code + 7-digit telephone number) in the 716/624 area or 1+10 digits for calls to other area code regions. Customers in the 716-area code have already been completing local calls by dialing 10 digits since the July 16, 2022, national implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the 624-area code overlay are:
Current telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change;
All calls within and between 716/624 must be dialed with 10 digits;
Consumers will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all calls to other area codes;
What is a local call will continue to remain a local call;
The price of a call, and the price of other telephone services, will not change due to the new overlay area code;
Calls to reach 911 Emergency Service will remain three digits;
If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 services are currently available in the community, consumers will still dial these codes with just three digits; and
Numbers in the 624-area code will not be available for assignment until remaining numbers in the 716-area code are exhausted. A date has not been determined when the remaining 716-area code numbers will be exhausted.
Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 624-area code as a valid area code. Some examples include life-safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.
Business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags should be updated as necessary to ensure each includes the 624-area code. All automatically dialed calls within the 716/624 area must be programmed to dial using 10-digits and the digit prefix “1” must be included for all calls to other area codes.
Documents regarding this proceeding may obtained by going to the Search section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.ny.gov, under ‘Commission Files’, and ‘File Search’ and entering Case Number 22-C-0358 in the input box labeled “Search by Case Number”.
Commission documents may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500). If you have difficulty understanding English, call 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this press release.
Photo: 1940 telephone switchboard operators.