Area code 716 was one of the original North American area codes established in October 1947. Its numbering plan area (NPA) originally extended across significant portions of central New York, as far east as Corning. In 1954, area code 607 was created by merging the eastern portion of 716 with the southern portion of the NPA with area code 315. In 2001, the new area code 585 was created for Rochester and its suburbs. Until 1993, it was bounded at the Niagara River by area code 416 (now 905) in Ontario.
The Buffalo 716ers basketball team is named for the telephone area code. Telephone calls to God may be made to 776-2323, according to the movie Bruce Almighty (2003); that number was removed from the video & television versions as, while it was (and remains) unassigned in Buffalo's area code 716, it was routinely misdialled to other area codes as a nuisance call to actual subscribers.
Area code 716 has telephone numbers assigned for the central office code 988. 988 has been designated nationwide as a dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which creates a conflict for exchanges that permit seven-digit dialing. This area code is therefore scheduled to transition to ten-digit dialing, mandatory after October 24, 2021. 716 had been one of the few urbanized area codes without an overlay, making Buffalo one of the largest cities where seven-digit dialing was still theoretically possible.
- Erie County (includes city of Buffalo and surrounding suburbs)
- Cattaraugus County (includes city of Olean)
- Chautauqua County (includes cities of Jamestown and Dunkirk)
- Niagara County (includes Niagara Falls and Lockport)
Because of Olean's proximity to the 716/585 line, some Olean exchanges use the 585 area code (particularly those in use for Sprint Corporation cell phones).
- "New York Area Codes". www.areacodehelp.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Hold the phone — that fake number works". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Transition to 10-digit dialing (for 988 as 3-digit access to National Suicide Prevention Hotline)" (PDF). NANPA. January 8, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
|North: 289/365/905, 416, 647, and 437 Lake Ontario|
|West: 289/365/905, Lake Erie||area code 716||East: 585|
|Ontario area codes: 226/519/548, 249/705, 289/365/905, 343/613, 416/437/647, 807|
|Pennsylvania area codes: 215/267/445, 223/717, 272/570, 412, 484/610, 724, 814, 878|