While FCC’s forthcoming rules for wireless device interference will affect open source firmware on Wi-Fi routers, one router maker doesn’t want to prevent the loading of third-party software. Unlike TP-Link, which will entirely block the open source firmware to please the new FCC requirements, Linksys’s latest router will allow open source firmware, without disobeying the rules, company execs told Ars Technica.
The key lies in its hardware design. The company says it has been collaborating with chip maker Marvell and the developers of OpenWRT to make this happen. From June 2, the latest WRT routers will separate the RF wireless data from the firmware in order to secure it. You will be allowed to keep loading open-source firmware the same way they are doing now. However, this is only application to the WRT routers. Other Linksys routers will block the firmware.
“The hardware design of the WRT platform allows us to isolate the RF parameter data and secure it outside of the host firmware separately,” Linksys said in a written statement given to Ars Technica.
OpenWRT’s Imre Kaloz wishes that FCC could’ve taken a different approach. It could punish those infractions rather than blocking the open-source firmware. However, Linksys’s solution is a proof that any router can use the open-source firmware while obeying the new FCC rules.