BOISE - Idaho is about to become a two-area-code state, and starting Saturday, you will need to dial 10 digits for every non-emergency phone call, even if it is a local call.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission says there are now more phone numbers than there are people in the state. This is due to such things as people having cell phones in addition to landlines, people using more than one cell phone, and homes or businesses that use multiple lines for phone calls and fax machines.
And soon, all the 208 phone number combinations will be used up.
The new 10-digit dialing requirement comes ahead of the new 986 area code, which will be assigned starting in September to new customers.
If your phone number begins with the 208 area code now, it will not change.
But with two different area codes in the state, everyone will have to dial the entire 10-digit phone number - the area code plus the seven digits.
"The only actions that consumers need to take in addition to dialing the 10 digits is if they have any numbers programmed into their phones they will need to change those. Fax machines, alarm systems, medical alert devices, those will all need to be re-programmed if not already, so we encourage customers to contact their provider if they are unsure if that number hasn't been changed in their system," says Matt Evans, a public information officer with Idaho Public Utilities.
If you're dialing from a landline, you will have to dial a 1 before punching in the 10-digit phone number.
This won't affect your billing; local calls will not be charged any additional fees.
If you don't dial the area code before making a call starting Saturday, you will reach a recording that will tell you to try again.
Of course this new change won't affect 911.
If you have any questions about this new change, click here.
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