Update on 916-Telephone# / Overlay with New Area Code

Last Updated: 2/16/2017

February 9, 2017 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today 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, which serves the greater Sacramento area, is 279.

As of August 2, 2016, there were 53 useable prefixes (the first three numbers after the area code) remaining in the 916 area code. The area code is projected to run out of prefixes in the first quarter of 2018.

“The area code overlay we approved today will allow all customers to keep their current phone numbers, including their area code,” said Commissioner Liane M. Randolph, who is assigned to the proceeding. “What this does is add an area code, 279, to the same region now served by the 916. In September 2017, customers requesting new phone numbers may be assigned the new 279 area code.”

There will be no changes to rates as a result of the overlay. To avoid service disruption, the new area code will be added to the 916 area by September 2017, six months before depletion of prefixes.

As a result of the overlay, customers must dial 1 plus the three-digit area code for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 916 and 279 area codes. Customers can use this new dialing procedure in August 2017 and continue to do so for six months (called the permissive dialing period). However, customers must use the new dialing procedure, 1+10 digit dialing, at the start of the mandatory dialing period in February 2018.

“In approving the overlay, we have also ensured that there will be a public education program to help make the public aware of the overly and dialing procedures,” said Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen. “Consumers should get ready for the overlay by programming equipment such as fax and answering machines and alarm and security devices to accommodate 1 + 10-digit dialing.”

On November 17, 2016, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), which is primarily responsible for ensuring that numbering resources are available to the telecommunications industry in the U.S. and Canada, filed an Application with the CPUC to introduce a new area code to the area now served by the 916 area code. The CPUC subsequently opened a proceeding to evaluate the Application, held public meetings in Sacramento, Folsom, and Roseville, and today issued its decision.

The 916 area code was created in 1947 as one of the original three area codes in California.

The 916 area code 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.