Considering the incredibly limited computing power of the cheap devices OpenWRT targets, I wonder if retailers aren’t already maxing out on anti-OpenWRT measures… They sure aren’t making it easy to install right now.
If this law will do anything, it will likely just increase the influx of people who buy routers from outer countries, which are likely going to use non-FCC compliant frequencies etc. with the official firmware already.
The great thing is you can still buy a routerboard or soekris system and add wifi; or go with off the shelf pc parts and pci/usb wifi. Building routers isn’t hard, I don’t care if I can’t buy consumer grade honestly.
This HN discussion sub-thread on the post is somewhat interesting. It seems that what the FCC might do more specifically is require more locked-down radios, so user-accessible software won’t be able to cause the device to transmit out of spec, e.g. to transmit on the Channel 14 wifi channel (not part of legal spectrum in the U.S.), or to transmit at over-limit levels of power.
If correct, installing OpenWRT wouldn’t specifically be banned, but manufacturers might take that approach anyway as the most expedient way of locking down the radio. But they would (if this comment is correct) in principle still be able to take an alternate approach, e.g. locking down the radio in hardware, or via a separate unflashable firmware module.
Does this also affect DD-WRT?