Get ready to change the way you dial your phone

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

Life in the 208 is about to get a little more cumbersome. In anticipation of the new 986 area code—which rolls out next year—officials are asking Idaho telephone users to begin new dialing procedures.

Instead of dialing the standard 7-digit telephone number for local calls, you will now need to dial the full 10-digit number that will include the area code. Until Aug. 5, 2017, the new procedures are just “recommended.” If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.

After Aug. 5, 2017, the new dialing procedures will be required for all calls, long distance or local. New telephone lines and services with the new 986 area code will be assigned after Sept. 5, 2017.

The extended “practice” period is essential for customers to update their automatic dialing equipment, as well as updating business cards, website links and other notations where the full number isn’t listed.

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