If your phone doesn’t have a removable SIM-card, you might be out of service by the end of the month.
Starting January 31, B.C. mobile carriers will stop using the older Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network.
Although many won’t notice the disruption, for years, a number of repurposed old phones have been handed out to vulnerable members of the community so they can have access to 911 services.
Derek Weiss with the Union Gospel Mission says taking away the ability to call for help in the midst of an overdose crisis is very dangerous.
“Timing is just really bad, with the fentanyl crisis happening right now, people are overdosing like we’ve never seen before, and we want to make sure that everyone is able to stay safe, and reach help for themselves or friends if they need it.”
He says they’re very concerned this will harm people’s chances of getting help on time.
“Overdoses are happening every day, 911 is being called every day. This is a very real situation that’s happening, and people are dying unfortunately if they don’t get good care from first responders right away.”
Weiss says vulnerable people should have access to emergency services just like everybody else.
He says the number of people it will affect is unknown, but adds he’s certainly seen many in the community with older phones.