FCC revises position on open source firmware router mods

The US Government policy towards permitting it’s citizens to create/modify firmware on some forms of devices has been clarified:

More info:


GreatScottGadgets on FCC regulations

Michael Ossman of GreatScottGadgets has written an excellent post to the FCC:

I am the owner of Great Scott Gadgets, a US company that makes open source test equipment primarily for the information security industry. As a designer and manufacturer of communications equipment, I commend the Commission for seeking to clarify and streamline the rules for equipment authorization. I believe that, on the whole, the updated rules will benefit the electronics industry. However, I am concerned that the rules regarding software control of radio parameters place an undue burden on device manufacturers and unnecessarily restrict the actions of end users. My concerns arise from rules already in place for Software Defined Radio (SDR) devices. I am encouraged to see that the Commission is eliminating certain special rules for SDR equipment and seeks to treat SDR and non-SDR devices in the same way. However, while the Commission notes that “the existing SDR rules have proven to be insufficiently flexible,” the proposed rules broaden the reach of those rules to non-SDR equipment.

Full post:

I hope other Open Hardware vendors speak up against this!

I can’t find the quote location right now, but a few days ago someone posted a joke, something like below:

“Why don’t we ever see anything like: FCC announces all routers must be open hardware/source, vendors have 30 days to comment.”

New FCC requirements may impact use of open source firmware

The FCC has new regulation that may impact embedded system, unclear how this impacts UEFI’s WiFi usage on embedded systems. I’ve not looked into this yet, so I’ll defer to some existing news sources. Quoting the InfoQ article:

“The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced ‘software security requirements’ obliging WiFi device manufacturers to “ensure that only properly authenticated software is loaded and operating the device”. The document specifically calls out the DD-WRT open source router project, but clearly also applies to other popular distributions such as OpenWRT. This could become an early battle in ‘The war on general purpose computing’ as many smartphones and Internet of Things devices contain WiFi router capabilities that would be covered by the same rules. The rules are apparently motivated by a desire to ensure that devices operated within the US comply to FCC regulations on radio frequency spectrum management and power output. Given the size of the US market, and manufacturers’ desire to create products that reach a global market, the rules are likely to have a global impact. This regulation applies to U-NII devices operating in the 5GHz band, though as dual band systems have become more popular, in routers and phones, this will increasingly apply to most devices with WiFi.”

More Information: