I don't know if Pat Phelan looks that much like Robin Hood, but he is very much among the merry band who is trying to take from the rich and greedy incumbent phone carriers and give to people like you and me, not to mention the even poorer hordes of "unbanked"workers, whose weekly calls home are their lifelines to loved ones.
AT&T, among the biggest and ugliest of the incumbent carriers is responding like it were the Sheriff of Nottingham.
You may recall that Pat is a partner in AllFreeCalls, which takes advantage of US rural telephony calls to allow people to to dial internationally, while receiving a Federal subsidiary for providing the service. However, AT&T is getting stuck with the termination fees and the telephony monolith is mad as Hell about it.
Since archers are no longer legal AT&T has hauled out the lawyers and have sent pieces of paper to many of the AllFreeCalls players, threatened to sack, pillage and burn down the peasant huts. Fearful for his future Pat's AllFreeCalls provider has taken flight, maybe using cornfields instead of Sherwood Forest.
As of right now the service is shut down. But don't go way.
Pat has vowed the service will be up and running again on Monday,although he didn't say how. It seems to me, that if AT&T used it's enormous cash reserves to hire bands of lawyers and to entertain regulatory enforcers,the Robin Hoods of Telephony would not have the opportunity to make fools of them as they are doing.
The lawyers may have the last laugh in this saga, but there is little doubt in my mind, who's side most people favor. All in favor of Robin Hood, raise your hand. All in favor of Nottingham? Go pay ripoff rates.