986: Get used to Idaho's new area code

KREM 2's Taylor Viydo has the story (11/18/16)

For Idaho residents, you might want to get used to the number 986.

Idaho is adding a second area code - 986 - because 208 phone numbers are beginning to run out.

If you live in Idaho, you will need to update your contact list and get used to 10-digit dialing.

Everyone in Idaho will need to dial an area code before all calls. That is different from places like Spokane, for example, where you can forgo dialing 509 for local calls.

Local phone providers like InterMax are still trying to get ahead of the looming change.

“I think that the commercial impact is going to be bigger because they have to go in and reprogram all their fax machines and their land dials,” said Mike Kennedy, the president of Intermax Networks. "I think it's going to be an adjustment for residential customers who are so used to using that phone."

If the saved numbers in your cell phone do not have the 208 area code, you will need to go back and add those as well.

There are more than 435,000 land lines in Idaho, according to the state Public Utilities Commission. While the number of land lines continue to go down each year, they are not hard to find in North Idaho where cell service can be poor.

“I would say in the rural areas, land lines still dominate,” said Kennedy.

Until Aug. 5, 2017 the new 10-digit dialing procedure is just “recommended” and the 208 area code is not going away. It is only new numbers that will have the 986 area code.

What might be harder to get used to is the fact that calling Idaho "the 208" may no longer be relevant.

"All the people that get tattoos of living in the 208 or the 509…How's that going to affect them? Are they going to have to update their tattoos?” joked Kennedy.

KREM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment