Freedom Fone Project Status

Hi Everyone..

So, an update on where we're at with the Freedom Fone project.

As you can imagine with a new project, development on the code base was pretty much non stop 2009-2014. Slowly but surely we built out a free, open source Do It Yourself IVR/SMS solution that was phone agnostic and independent of the Internet. It dramatically reduced (but did not entirely remove) the computer and telephony skills required to set up an information service comprising voice menus, voicemail & SMS services.

Over this time we've seen the software downloaded all around the world. Volumes have never been very high, but there have been some high impact deployments that have made all the effort feel worthwhile. Typically Freedom Fone has been used where literacy and/or internet access is low and call costs are affordable; and where organisations have in-house audio editing skills and a ready audience eg community radio stations.

Our standout users have been Farm Radio International and their 'Radio & ICT Warriors' in east and southern Africa; Radio Ergo in Nairobi and their work with Somalis in and outside of Somalia; and the Auntie Stella sexual reproductive health hotlines in east Africa. Downloads show that there are many other users out there, but we have little information on what they're up to as they're all 'Doing it for themselves!'

Since Freedom Fone runs on Linux, we are of course affected when Ubuntu releases major upgrades to their operating system. Ubuntu v14.04LTS introduced a couple of significant modifications that directly impacted how Freedom Fone monitors activity within its internal environment. This had time and budget implications for us which meant our most recent release, v2S8 was not ideal. We would have liked to rewrite the areas of code impacted by the key changes introduced by Ubuntu v14.04LTS. Instead we had to make do with hacks and workarounds. So it goes when resources are finite.

The project has, for now, been parked at this point. Limited support will be made available by volunteers via the online Forum. Users are urged to read our comprehensive documentation to help themselves - all the latest documentation is available from the website.

Developers interested in forking the code are welcome to do so.

So, all that leaves me to do is wish you all well with your endeavors. Freedom Fone will continue on, in your hands.

Thanks for your participation, it's been quite a ride.