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No longer just the ‘916,’ Sacramento gets a new area code: ‘279’

Why you’ll soon have to dial at least 10 digits and what’s next

Changes are coming to how Sacramento makes phone calls starting Feb. 10. Here’s a look at the new 279 area code overlay, and where the next changes will happen.
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Changes are coming to how Sacramento makes phone calls starting Feb. 10. Here’s a look at the new 279 area code overlay, and where the next changes will happen.

The Sacramento region is about to get a new area code to supplement its overburdened 916 digits.

The new number, 279, spells out C-R-Y, for what it’s worth.

The California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday that it is reacting to population growth and the proliferation of devices by adding the new area code in September, just before the 916 region runs out of prefix spaces.

“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. “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.”

That means a change for all Sacramento-area residents. People will have to dial a “1” first when making calls to and from those area two codes, according to the PUC. That new dialing process will start in August, but will not be mandatory until February 2018.

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

The area code serves parts of El Dorado, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, Placer, and Sacramento counties.

For more information on the 916 area code, go to www.cpuc.ca.gov/916areacode.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

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