[Cerowrt-devel] New FCC requirements and CeroWrt

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 12:49:51 EST 2014

On Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 9:11 AM, Eric Schultz
<eschultz at prplfoundation.org> wrote:
> All,
> I work for the prpl Foundation, an open source foundation organized by
> a number of companies, most related to MIPS. One project we work with
> externally is the OpenWrt project. Recently one of our members
> mentioned a new FCC requirement (described at
> http://wiki.prplfoundation.org/wiki/Complying_with_FCC_rules_on_5ghz_wifi)
> which requires wifi hardware devices to restrict modifications in ways
> that were not previously required. Some of the suggestions the company
> had internally for complying would be to use features like Secure Boot
> and other types of DRM-like mechanisms to prevent routers from being
> modified. This obviously would be quite bad for the OpenWrt ecosystem

It would be bad for everyone. Worse, since the research contingent
making progress on keeping wifi working in the first place in the face
of enormous growth, is centered around the ath9k chipset, additional
rules and regulations centered around DRM are likely to choke off
further development of then new ideas and techniques needed to keep it

> so we agreed as a group
> to try to provide hardware companies with a way of complying without
> harming the community.

My view is mildly more extreme - the 2.4 and 5.8 ghz spectrum currently
allocated to wifi is the *public's* spectrum.

I am deeply concerned about  further intrusions on it by things like this:


and we need more spectrum, not less, in order to keep wifi for
everyone, working.

> I'm looking to find individuals (and other companies!) interested in
> working with myself and the foundation, companies, the OpenWrt
> community

> and eventually regulators to provide guidance to hardware
> companies on how to best comply with these rules.

I intend to continue ignoring them to what extent I can. Regrettably
this situation is contributing to community members being unable to
apply new queue management techniques to new standards like 802.11ac,
and seems to be the source of all the proprietary ac firmware.

I think a first step would merely to be for a big maker to publicly
release their 802.11ac firmware and let the chips fall where they may.

> If you're interested
> in getting involved or just would like to know more, please get in
> touch with me. We want to make sure that routers are hackable
> and we could use all the help we can get.

+10. I would like to see prpl participating in the make-wifi-fast effort, also.


> Thanks and I look forward to working with you,
> Eric
> --
> Eric Schultz, Community Manager, prpl Foundation
> http://www.prplfoundation.org
> eschultz at prplfoundation.org
> cell: 920-539-0404
> skype: ericschultzwi
> @EricPrpl
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Dave Täht


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