Area code 208 is one of the original 86 area codes in the North American numbering plan, introduced by AT& T in 1947 to serve entire Idaho.
Location of Area code 208
It is in Idaho includes large cities such as Blackfoot, Boise, Burley, Caldwell, Coeur D’Alene, Eagle, Garden City, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Meridian, Moscow, Mountain Home, Nampa, Pocatello, Post Falls, Rexburg, Twin Falls, and more.
Time zone of Area code 208
Time zone of Area code 208 is Mountain and Pacific.
- 208 was the area code that served the entire Idaho alone until 2017 because of its low population. After that, a new area code 986 came as an overlay in the same area.
- Because of its small population, Idaho was one of the few whole-state area codes split between multiple LATAs (Local Access and Transport Area).
- In 1990s the area underwent the shortage of telephone numbers due to introduction of cell phones, pagers, landlines and faxes in urban areas of Idaho.
- In 2001, the Federal Communications Commission predicted that demand would deplete the numbering pool of area code 208 in 2003.
- However, in 2002 the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) successfully implemented number pooling in Boise by delaying a split.
- It was also expected by FCC that Idaho would face shortage of numbers in 2010 again. So, the idea of split delayed by implementing numbering pool again.
- In the summer of 2013, NANPA predicted exhaustion in 2018 as Idaho’s population was growing rapidly (Two Million). So, the introduction of new area code was necessary at that time.
- Ultimately, there was the recommendation of a statewide overlay area code. An area code split would not suggest because it would need reprogramming of cell phones. On the other hand, in the overlay plan, subscribers in the original area code can keep the same numbers.
- On November 2, 2015, area code 986 came in the area as a statewide overlay.
- Area code 986 was officially put into service on November 5, 2016.
Calling Procedure in an overlay area code 208/986
When area code 986 started service as an overlay plan in Idaho, they gave a permissive dialing period so at that time it was possible to make calls with either seven or ten digits.
Ten-digit dialing became mandatory across Idaho on August 5, 2017.
What is Ten-digit dialing?
It is a telephone dialing procedure that includes the area code+ telephone number to make a call inside or outside the local area. Sometimes, the ten-digit numbers prefixed with number 1 (trunk code). This is common in areas where overlays implemented. 10- digit dialing format, looks like this 1+ area code+ telephone number, is also called national format.
As overlay plans have spread to more areas therefore 10-digit dialing in the U.S. and Canada is becoming increasingly common.
More Info about Dialing procedures in overlay area codes.
On November 5, 2016, an area code 208/986 established to meet the needs of more area codes in that area. The original area code 208 will have the same dialing procedure as prior to implementation. A consumer’s existing telephone number will remain the same including current area code. Same case is with the cost of a telephone call, coverage area and other rates and services. A local call will remain a local call.
But in the area where both area codes are in service in the result of overlay by North American Numbering Plan (NANP), the dialing procedures may change.
- The callers must dial 1 + area code + telephone. `
- Two area codes will represent the same geographic region.
- The users should use area code when dialing any telephone number – including calls within the same area code.
- Mobile phones settings, fax machines, alarm and security system may require reprogramming and for other automatic equipment to avoid any interruptions during calls.
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