The Herald-Courier

Get ready for some change, WNYers

The old area code regions. /Screenshot taken from

The iconic 716 area code of Western New York will now have to share its territory with a new set of three numbers.

On Sept. 5, 2023, the Department of Public Service announced in a press release that as of Sept. 11, customers in the 716-area code will be sharing the area with a new area number: 624.

Those impacted by this new number will be people residing in all or parts of Niagara, Erie, Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Chautauqua counties. In addition, this will affect those who will be requesting new phone services.

While it may not roll off the tongue as easily, the new area code is due to a lack of new numbers that are able to be created using the 716 area code. WIVB reported back in 2022 that the 716 area code was estimated to run out of phone numbers by early 2024. WIVB reported at the time that the new area code was to debut as early as spring 2024.

Changing or adding area codes is nothing new, and Western New Yorkers will not have to worry about their number changing on them.

/Map by Maya Borer

In fact, the added area code has happened before. Some may remember that in  2001, portions of WNY saw the 585 area code get introduced. This impacted residents and businesses in Orleans, Genesee, Monroe, and Wyoming counties.

The 624 area code was approved by the NYS Public Service Commission in October of last year.

“With the addition of the new area code, the region is now well-positioned to accommodate continued economic growth and growing consumer demand for telephone service. 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 DPS press release reads.

It continues that the area code overlay will require people to continue to dial all 10 digits for local calls or 1+10 digits for calls in other area code regions.

Prices of these calls will not change from the new overlay and emergency service numbers will continue to be the same.

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