986 area code to arrive in Idaho in 2017 - everyone will have to start using area codes first in 208

Update your address book for 208 area codes now
Posted at 6:42 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 20:46:48-04

You can start dialing 10 digit numbers as of November 5th in order to get used to a hard switch over to long numbers after August 5 2017.

The Idaho Public Utilities commission says you can use either (208) xxx-xxxx format to dial your cellphone starting Saturday or not -- the choice is yours.  But after August 5 2017 people will be forced to dial either 9 or 10 digits to make every phone call.

Part of what is driving the adaption of the new area code is not just more individuals getting cellphones, although a family may have several among the family members.  It's also that a lot of technology also takes a phone number to act properly, such as home security devices and credit card readers at stores.  

"So you might have one person with six or seven numbers," said Gene Fadness, of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, "even unbeknownst to them, that they have that many numbers."