New “624” area code set to start next week in WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s not just the 716 anymore. Western New York’s getting an additional area code, set to take effect on September 11.

According to the New York State Department of Public Service, newly requested mobile or landline numbers, as well as those that result from relocation, may start with the area code 624.

This comes as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) previously forecasted a shortage of telephone numbers with the 716 area code. In response, the Public Service Commission said a new area code was expected to be activated before the second quarter of 2024.

“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 Public Service Commission said.

This change, which was first introduced last year, could be applied to new numbers in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. But this doesn’t mean people are going to lose their current 716 numbers. Again, the new numbers will be in addition to the current ones.

“The area code overlay requires consumers to continue to dial 10 digits for local calls (area code + 7-digit telephone number) in the 716/624 area or 1+10 digits for calls to other area code regions,” the Public Service Commission says, also noting that “what is a local call will continue to remain a local call.”

Important to note — the Public Service Commission wants people to make sure all necessary apps, software or automatic dialing equipment recognize “624” as a valid area code. Safety and security systems are examples of this.

This new division of numbers follows a big change that took place in 2001 in which phone users in the Rochester area obtained “585” area codes. It is anticipated that the new “624” area code will “provide 29 years worth’ of new phone numbers,” according to a previous News 4 report.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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