There are just a few days left to guarantee a phone number with the 208 area code synonymous with Idaho. Starting Saturday, callers in the Gem State will have to start dialing full 10-digit phone numbers as Idaho inaugurates its second area code.
New numbers will start being assigned the 986 area code in early September, but 208 numbers could run out sooner in some places, forcing early adoption of the new digits.
The 986 area code was approved two years ago by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission who said phone numbers were dwindling in the state. According to the Idaho Press Tribune, callers will have to dial an area code even when placing 208 to 208 calls starting Saturday.
Now, if you like your number, there's no need to worry. The PUC is trying to allay fears of changing numbers; they want to remind people that local calls will stay local. The additional area code won't affect 911 or other 3-digit services, and they want to make sure people update pre-programmed numbers in their phones or on speed dial to include an area code.
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