New router chips could save open source firmware from FCC rules

A company that designs MIPS processors for networking hardware says it is developing technology that would allow installation of open source firmware on wireless routers while still complying with the US Federal Communications Commission’s latest anti-interference rules.

The FCC now requires router makers to prevent third-party firmware from changing radio frequency parameters in ways that could cause interference with other devices, such as FAA Doppler weather radar systems.

The easiest way for router makers to comply is to simply prevent installation of open source firmware altogether. Linksys came up with its own way of allowing open source firmware, but so far there’s no method that scales across the industry, and at least some routers from TP-Link and Asus are being locked down.

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Read the original at Ars Technica.