FCC Bans Custom Firmware

Following on from the FCC’s revised rules on radio-based equipment, Chinese company TP-Link have disabled a feature from their Wi-Fi routers.

The feature to allow the owner of a TP-Link router to install customised firmware has been made illegal in the United States by the FCC.

Devices sold in the United States will have firmware and wireless settings that ensure compliance with local laws and regulations related to transmission power. As a result of these necessary changes, users are not able to flash the current generation of open-source, third-party firmware.
— TP-Link

The issue has arisen because the FCC's job is to make sure devices only operate on the radio frequencies they are licensed to use. Equipment, such as home wireless routers, that can be reprogrammed by their owners can be potentially configured to operate on unauthorized frequencies, which is a major issue for the FCC.

The Register - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/11/tplink_kills_plan_for_open_routers/