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Do you have a 716 area code? How you make phone calls will be changing Sunday

Posted at 11:33 AM, Apr 02, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — If you live in the 716 area code, how you make phone calls will be changing Sunday.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted 988 as the new 3-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. This change officially takes place July 16, 2022 and until then those who need to reach the Lifeline should call 1-800-273-8255.

For 988 to work, 10-digit dialing will be coming to several states and area codes.

How does this change the way you make calls?
To complete all local calls you will need to dial the area code as well as the telephone number (10-digit dialing).

Who is impacted by the change?
The 716 area code is one of 82 area codes in 36 states impacted by the change, you can find a full list here.

When does the change begin?
Beginning April 24, 2021 you should begin to use 10-digit dialing (area code and telephone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial only the telephone number your phone call will still be completed.

Beginning October 24, 2021 you must use 10-digit dialing (area code and telephone number) for all local calls. If you dial only the telephone number on or after this date your phone call may not be completed and a recording will inform you.

Beginning July 16, 2022 dialing 988 will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

What do you need to do?
DFT Communications lists the following:

"In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples are life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and other similar functions. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included."

What remains the same?

  • Your telephone number and area code.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, and/or other rates and services.
  • Local calls will still be local calls.
  • For long distance calls you will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 911 (emergency services) or 711 (relay services).
  • Services available in your community can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes.

If you have any questions you can find more information on the change here.

For more information on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline you can click here.