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NETGEAR Says It Won't Block Open Source Firmware On Its Routers

Discussion in 'NETGEAR AC Wireless' started by thiggins, May 20, 2016.

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  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    sponsor_logo_netgear.jpg
    NETGEAR has weighed in on how it will handle the new FCC and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI ) rules that go into effect on June 2, 2016. The new rules require routers and software to be secured to prevent changing transmit power output or enabling unauthorized channel selection of the router on the 5 GHz band.

    NETGEAR's official response is:

    "NETGEAR has reviewed the recent FCC rule changes. We are aware of their potential implications on open source firmware availability for WiFi routers but believe we can continue our general practice of not prohibiting opens source releases for our WiFi routers."​

    NETGEAR joins TP-LINK, ASUS and Linksys in making public their plans on how they will handle custom firmware installs after June 2.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
    Rooter, remixedcat, avtella and 4 others like this.
  2. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    but what does that really say ? to me it reads they are just going to ignore the fcc etc , it hasn't really said what they intend to do apart from nothing :confused:
     
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  3. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    Sounds like Netgear will do what they have to do to avoid having to ban third-party firmware, like maybe turning some currently open modules into non-modifiable binary lumps. A wise move for them, given how they've dumbed down their stock firmware. I'm using the R7800 on the stock firmware, and while it is fully functional, it's not possible for me to monitor anything interesting. I can at least telnet into the router, but not a lot there that's useful...not even the full syslog I was hoping to find.

    I don't read this as saying that Netgear will ignore the FCC, by the way. I'm sure that they'll do what they need to do to observe the new FCC rules.

    I find this to be really good news, that they're willing to put in the work to continue to allow third-party firmware.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
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  4. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    Yay, it seems they have been able to resist joining the dark side for a while longer.

    Hopefully Tp-link will see others avoiding hellish blight that is locked firmware, and fix their newer routers.
     
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  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    No company can ignore the FCC and ETSI rules if they want to sell product in the US or Euro zone after June 2.

    NETGEAR would be the last company to violate FCC rules. Remember they discovered ASUS' transmit power juicing and got it stopped through the FCC and FTC.
     
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  6. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Netgear will most likely rely on the third party firmware market to regulate itself. I'm not aware of any fork based on Netgear's own code, so that means their router's third party is usually limited to DD-WRT (which will most likely respect regulations) and OpenWRT (same).

    That leaves Tomato, but since they are looking into complying with Asus, their adherence will cascade into their Netgear builds as well.

    I suspect that's the "gamble" that Netgear will be taking regarding third party firmware.

    One thing to note is that part of the FCC policy enforcing is baked into the latest Broadcom chipsets (in part due to their move to an encrypted bootloader). So once again, that's one area that will be covered by BCM themselves.

    The real test will be to see if they can pass through any future FCC validations with this policy in place.
     
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  7. remixedcat

    remixedcat Senior Member

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    will you still get the same flashability with BCM??
     
  8. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    We still do. The new chipset is already being used by the 2015 wave of routers, including the AC5300 class.
     
  9. remixedcat

    remixedcat Senior Member

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