The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Comcast reminds consumers that beginning on February 10, 2018, residents and businesses with the 916 area code must dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls. After that date, if callers do not use the new dialing procedure, the call will not be completed and a recording will instruct the caller to hang up and dial again using the new dialing procedure.
The dialing change paves the way for an area code overlay that will add the new 279 area code to the geographic area currently served by the 916 area code. The overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code and telephone number, but does require customers to dial “1” plus the three-digit area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 916 and 279 area codes, including local calls.
To prepare for the area code overlay, the CPUC offers the following tips to residents and businesses:
Deadline: Beginning February 10, 2018, direct dialed calls from 916 phone numbers will not go through unless dialed as 1 + area code + telephone number.
Phone Numbers and Pricing Unchanged: The new dialing procedure will not change existing 916 phone numbers or the cost of the call. Calls that are in a consumer’s local calling area remain local calls.
Reprogram Automatic Dialers: Automatic dialing equipment must be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure, including: life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and other similar services or equipment.
Dialing 9-1-1 Unaffected: Consumers can still dial three digits to reach 911. Other three-digit codes, such as 211, 311,411, 511, 611, 711, and 811, can also be dialed with just three digits where they are available.
Beginning March 10, 2018, consumers requesting new or additional telephone numbers may be assigned telephone numbers with either the new 279 area code or the original 916 area code, depending on available telephone number inventory. Consumers receiving 279 telephone numbers must dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls as well.
The 916 area code was created in 1947 as one of the original three area codes in California. It serves the greater Sacramento area, which includes parts of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, and Yolo Counties. The 916 area code serves the cities of Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin and Roseville in Placer County; Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Isleton, Rancho Cordova, and Sacramento in Sacramento County; and the City of West Sacramento in Yolo County. The 916 area code is bordered on the north and east by the 530 area code, to the west by the 707 area code, and to the south by the 925 and 209 area codes.
In February 2017, the CPUC ordered the overlay to ensure that consumers and businesses in the greater Sacramento area have continued access to telephone numbers from the wireline, wireless, and Voice over Internet Protocol providers of their choice. The 916 area code overlay decision is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M176/K013/176013970.PDF.
For more information, consumers and businesses should contact their telephone service provider or visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/916areacode. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.
The above map shows the general geographic areas to be served by the 916/279 area code overlay.