This sucks.Networking hardware vendor TP-Link says it will prevent the loading of open source firmware on routers it sells in the United States in order to comply with new Federal Communications Commission requirements.
The FCC wants to limit interference with other devices by preventing user modifications that cause radios to operate outside their licensed RF (radio frequency) parameters. The FCC says it doesn't intend to ban the use of third-party firmware such as DD-WRT and OpenWRT; in theory, router makers can still allow loading of open source firmware as long as they also deploy controls that prevent devices from operating outside their allowed frequencies, types of modulation, power levels, and so on.
But open source users feared that hardware makers would lock third-party firmware out entirely, since that would be the easiest way to comply with the FCC requirements. The decision by TP-Link—described by the company in this FAQ—show that those fears were justified. (Thanks to Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo for bringing it to our attention.)