916 Area Code 

916 area code update - 1200 by 628 - v2 - web

On February 09, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved an overlay that will add the new 279 area code to the geographic region served by the existing 916 area code. The overlay plan will allow existing 916 Area Code customers to keep their telephone numbers, but as of February 10, 2018, all calls made from 916 Area Code numbers must be completed using the new 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number procedure. Calls placed without the “1” and the area code will not be completed and will result in a recording instructing the caller to hang up and dial again. Beginning March 10, 2018, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the 279 area code. All calls made from 279 area code numbers must too be dialed as 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number.

Dialing 1 + area code + 7-digit telephone number does not change what a call costs and does not mean that a call is a toll or long distance call. Therefore, calling areas and rates will not change. What is a local call before the overlay will remain a local call after the overlay and dialing “1” and the area code does not mean there will be a charge for the call. Calls to 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 will not be affected, and will continue to be dialed with 3 digits.

The overlay will primarily affect the greater Sacramento area, which includes parts of El Dorado, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, Placer, and Sacramento Counties.

Read our second reminder of the new dialing procedure. 

Read our reminder of the new dialing procedure.



On November 17, 2016, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) filed an application (A.16-11-007) with the CPUC to introduce a new area code to the area now served by the 916 area code because all of the available prefixes in the 916 area code are expected to be depleted, or exhaust, in the 1st quarter of 2018. Due to decrease in the demand for telephone numbers, the 916 area code is now projected to exhaust in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

The 916 area code was created in 1947 as one of the original three area codes in California, and serves the greater Sacramento area, which includes parts of El Dorado, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, Placer, and Sacramento 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 area code and the 209 area code.

 916 Area Code Background

 916 Area Code Map

The CPUC invited public comments through public meetings, which were held on August 15 and 16, 2016, in the Cities of Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville. CPUC and NANPA discussed two options for introducing the new 279 area code – all services overlay or geographic spilt. Attendees at the three 916 meetings were mostly local jurisdiction officials. Attendees at the three 916 public meetings included the general public, local jurisdiction officials, reporters and telecommunications representatives. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions and express their opinions during the Question-and-Answer period. They were further provided an opportunity to submit written comments to the CPUC.

Public comments were also provided via email and postal mail sent to the Public Advisor’s Office. Concerns and questions expressed in the comments regard issues ranging from whether customers will lose their existing telephone number and the 916 area code to the new 1 + 10-digit dialing procedure and reprogramming of telecommunications services and equipment.

 916 Public Meeting Materials

 916 Public Meeting Staff Report

On Feb. 9, 2017, the CPUC adopted Decision 17-02-010 and acted to ensure that phone numbers continue to be available to meet demand in the 916 area code by approving an area code overlay that will provide additional numbering resources while minimizing customer inconvenience. The new area code that will be added to the 916 region is 279. Read our press release and view our presentation.

Decision 17-02-010 orders the telecommunications service providers to conduct a 13-month Public Education Program to educate consumers about the new area code and the new 1 + 10-digit dialing procedure. Materials for the Public Education Program include customer notices, TV and radio announcements, newspaper advertisements, and press releases. The materials address the permissive and mandatory dialing periods, as well as remind customers that all services and equipment that are programmed with a 7-digit telephone number may need to be reprogrammed using the new 1 + 10-digit dialing pattern.

Questions and comments concerning the 916/279 area code overlay may be submitted to the Public Advisor’s Office by:

• Email to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov, or

• Postal mail to CPUC Public Advisor’s Office, 320 W. 4th Street, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90013.


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