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Posted on: June 23, 2017

New 838 Area Code Being Introduced Effective 8/19/17

518 Banner Reminder Area Code 838 Overlay

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 838 area code will be added to the area served by 518. The new 838 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 518 area code which covers all or part of 17 counties in eastern upstate New York, serving communities such as Albany, Plattsburgh, and Lake Placid. This is known as an area code overlay.

What is an area code overlay?

An overlay is the addition of another area code (838) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (518).
An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

How does this affect phones and systems?

As a result of the overlay, a new local dialing procedure requires callers to dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number). This means that all calls in the 518 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using the area code + telephone number. All speed dials or auto dialers, located in the 518 area code and programmed to dial only seven digits must be updated or reprogrammed to dial 10 digits (area code + telephone) for all local calls in the 518/838 area code. In addition, please note that any telephone number that is currently call forwarded to another 518 area code telephone number containing seven digits must be changed to dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number).

When will the change begin?

Effective August 19, 2017, callers must use the new dialing procedures, as described above, for all calls. After this date, if callers do not use the new dialing procedures, the call will not be completed and a recording will instruct the caller to hang up and dial again.

Beginning September 19, 2017, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 838 area code. All local calls placed from the new 838 area code must be dialed using 10 digits (area code + telephone number).

What will remain the same?

· Your customer’s telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

· The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

· What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.

· Callers will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all calls to other area codes (outside of 518 and 838).

· Callers can still dial just three digits to reach 911.

· If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in the caller’s community; these codes can still be dialed with just three digits.

Customers with questions about the dialing procedure change should be directed to their local service provider, or they can visit the New York Public Service Commission’s website at

New York State Public Service Commission Website
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