Radio equipment manufacturers follow ETSI recommendations cause the product declaration process is easier


I'm far away from encouraging OpenWRT to break laws. I understand that OpenWRT developers would love to apply to laws, if they could (see posts in the link "increased nor decreased" discussion).
And the quote of FCC regulations makes clear, that the USER is the one, who potentially operates the equipment in an unauthorised way. They require mfgs (by the way only those delivering to the area where FCC is applicable) to state this in a user manual or instruction.
Where can I read the responsibility and duty of the mfg or software provider to enforce the user not to "intentionally or unintentionally" break the regulation?

As already stated - US regulations to not apply to me as a user and would also not apply to me as developer or manufacturer producing goods for a non US market. I kindly ask for respect to other than US regulations. I fully respect anyone trying to act according to their legaslative restrictions.

ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is an organisation providing recommendations for standards. These can be picked up by any legally entitled body or not. In Europe ETSI is used by ESO (European Standardisation Organisation) and still here only recommendations are provided. Even the European Government does not automatically have legally binding power for the EU member states. They provide regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions. You can read more about these types in the link.
The real legally binding regulation for individuals in EU is still within the member states legislation. To make it clear:
Someone running his router on 1000 mW in Lithuania is not acing illegal, if Lithanian law does not forbid it. This is even valid when the EU made a decision or regulation that max power should be 100mW - potentially or likely based on an ESO/ETSI recommendation.

Regarding breaking community guidelines I fully agree with the "Always Be Civil and Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree" are very valuable guidelines.

I applogise, if anyone feels encouraged to break laws they are bound to - this is not my intention - my intention in this post is to discuss anticipatory obedience.

With all respect - before insinuating someone to act criminal or encouraging someone to act criminal please respect that different regulations apply to people living in different regions.
I understand OpenWRT as a platform of open source developers trying to provide solutions to users all over the world. Maybe TX power raising is not a solution for my problem - but it might be a valid option.

To come back to the topic - are manufacturers acting with anticipatory obedience if they restrict TX power restrictions? And is this forced on them by FCC and/or any other organisation? I'd like to get clarity here, I'd like to understand, why this happens. I've read some arguments, that might be technically valid (i.e. interference in crowded areas), but I still do not understand, why technical capabilities are developed and then suppressed.

PS would have provided more links, but as new user I'm restricted to 2 links per post


Why do you keep using the word "anticipatory"?

They are required to obey the law in order to sell their products. The US doesn't permit the import, sale or manufacture of products that do not have or will not qualify for a Part 15 license. There are similar laws in other nations. There are also some nations where certain channels are not permitted and vice versa (channels 12-14). Also, you keep implying that a radio can safely transmit out of spec because you want it to. Again, please understand what harmonics, spurious emissions and illegal interference actually are.

LOL, did you read my post?

They are required to comply with International Radio Regulations. You have to file semantics, specifications, etc. to most "organizations." After that, you are not allowed to alter the radio. Please read the regulations. You're really pretending as if their is no legal enforcement of the radio waves in the world - such is not the case. The world used to be a very interfere-able place before the first World Radiocommunication Congress, it would be impossible to manage the radio waves like you wish in 2018.

And I agree with the "Only Post Your own Stuff" portion, that says:

You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

Violation of the Radio Regulations or of the FCC rules would be breaking any other law.

EDIT: Also be advised, 2.4 Ghz is dangerous in high wattage, you can burn flesh/boil water.


Correction...that violates the Telecommunications Act.

You may not be aware of this; but some radio waves can reach around the world; and it doesn't take a lot of power to do so (HF/Shortwave is a good example).




@Pippo, but do you have a permit to legally import that WiFi booster?

Also, I only know of a WiFi amplifier to be allowed in the Amateur Service, not the Part 15 service:

Also, number stations are usually ran by a military or government...that's my point.


Should I search through the database or could you please post the link to the fcc compliant device (the above mentioned WiFi amplifier) ?
Happy new year to all the staff and forum members :tada:


You should search the database.

I'm not even sure under what license you would use the amplifier. Only you would know that.


Database too difficult for me can’t find WiFi related stuff but found this one on Amazon

not sure fcc compliant they sell it as it is !!!

Google tells me somebody is petitioning for wider relaxed use of boosters in the US but think are related to mobile bands more than WiFi



  1. If you want to help the conversation please start referencing to internationally legally binding regulations. Any reference to US laws/regulations is irrelevant, cause not applicable in EUROPE and most other parts of the world.

Please reference "similar laws" and potentially the countries/regions where they are relevant.

Please reference "International Radio Regulations" in more detail than a wikipedia link to ITU. "You have to file ..." please reference anything helpful to identify, that TX power restriction has to be filed. I would love to follow your recommendation to read "regulations" - please help me to find them.

Again US regulation - my position to that is clear - does neither apply to me nor to an organisation that does not "import, sale or manufacture" products not intended for the US market.

  1. Please keep with the topic - it's not about me encouraging anyone to break laws - it's me asking OpenWRT (in the beginning) for clarification of topics. Other posters already helped in partially understanding more - that is why I changed the topic title - not OpenWRT anymore, but potentially FCC.

Wrong, I see that there obviously is enforcement, but it's not clear to me, whether it is legally enforced (for what I still have no proof on international level - or anticipatory obidience. At least regariding radio frquencies I could already find binding regulations within EU directives based on ETSI recommendations.

:rofl: - if it is breaking the law to search for regulations and/or understand the "law" noone of us would be able or at least be allowed to know them. And regarding FCC - see above ...

  1. Finally thanks for this hint:

ITU is another recommendatin body - ETSI is somehow connected with them - guess a membership.
Unfortunately I cannot find any hint in ITU "publications" and "recommendations" pages where they discuss/recommend TX Power for the 5 or 2,4 GHz band. Can you please help, as you are so aware of all the regulations - thanks!

Just to remain clear - ITU only provides recommendations! They cannot form any laws and even if the EU commission made a law based on some ITU recommendations this does not necessarily mean, that countries follow EU laws - see "ITU publishes in their blog, that EU commission requested belgium in 2014 to comply with EU telecom law"

Maybe internationally operating mfgs take these recommendations as reference in order to develop hard- and software that most likely apply to legal regulations in as many countries of interst as possible. This would be an understandable economic decision. If yes, and the ITU gives a 100mW recommendation I still wonder why they develop hardware able to deliver much more with higher cost ....


I did, 3 times now:

Since it is a TREATY, it is Internationally binding law!

Again, I did - the full text of Radio Regulations (read like everyone who works with International Radio is required to do):

The regulations are copyrighted, so I cannot post quotes - per the Community Guidelines. If you read the link, you would know that. I have a feeling you know that and are attempting to troll.

LOL, now you're pretending I have a rule book on OTHER NATIONS!

I surmised you're the one that lives there and therefore knows the law... since you're the one being bold to take responsibility for violating their laws!!! SMH...But I did dig some up (in English):

Here's another good link from Texas Instruments, a listing of countries who accept FCC or ETSI Certificates of Conformity:

  • Why would a manufacturer construct a device that's not usable in about 25% of the modern world?
  • If you're an American Citizen (or Corporation), you know you can file a request to amend the rules with the FCC, right?

LOL, that's odd; because the WORLD WiFi region is specified there.

You're pretending as if the laws are fact you're pretending as if the ITU doesn't have authority...can't help you there, I'd suggest you read the treaty.

Are you joking? Who enforces non-laws...?

And can you define your use of the word "anticipatory;" as it doesn't apply in it's Webster's definition - in any sentence you're making.

  • You have heard of the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union, correct, or are you pretending they don't exist either???

If it's not clear to you if there's legal enforcement, then perhaps you need to see an organization who volunteers to enforce some parts of the world's radio waves on the International level:

Their interference reports are legal.

It's against the Guidelines to say this:

Stop trolling, no troll food here. I am not your Telecommunications Lawyer; but you may need one to better explain things to you. I surmise you're the only one having a major issue reading and understanding the Radio Authority Certificates issued to your consumer electronic devices.

I really think you need to look at the WORLD WiFi setting on your OpenWrt device. I also think you're very lost. I'd advise:

  • You can hire a Telecommunications Attorney to consult for an hour or 2,
  • You can visit an Electrical Engineering school for a day, or
  • go to a radio web forum and inquire more in the legal sections
  • What do you mean by "wonder why they develop hardware able to deliver much more with higher cost"? Are you referring to devices people get permits for, or use illegally???


In case you don't browse to the law/regulation like you pretended to do with the Radio Regulations:


This is likely spot on.

Your complaint about purchasing a device without adjustable power output, @regulatory_freek, if you're going to direct it at anyone but yourself, should be with the manufacturer of your device.

The inflammatory titles that have headed off this rambling thread have, in general, been little more than inflammatory. Their intensity and the demands of the OP for references to specific regulations increased dramatically after the OP realized that they had purchased a router that the manufacturer had apparently chosen to limit its power output. This and the course of the thread strongly suggest that this thread is not about exchange or understanding of information.

Should the OP (or another reader) truly want to find regulations related to their jurisdiction, is one set of references. Contacting their regulatory body would be another. Just scanning that Wikipedia page reveals that there are channels that are limited to 25 mW in certain jurisdictions. also indicates that there are significant restrictions on use of portions of the 5 GHz band in UK/EU.

In fact, the FCC has decided against manufacturers who have "locked down" their devices to a greater extent than required. For example:


Just upfront - I will close the topic (if I'm able), and change the title, as I found the clarifications I was searching for.
I'm unhappy about the tone of some participants in this conversation.

Here is my learnings - based on tip from this thread and some extra research:

  • In Europe the legally binding Directive for radio equipment (indirectly also for TX power output) is the RED - Radio Equipment Directive - 2014/53/EU. It describes the essential requirements for products that are to be placed on the European market.
  • European member states have to implement the directive into their legal framework (usually within a certain period).
  • RED - 2014/53/EU does not regulate TX power and does not require ETSI standards as a precondition for placing goods on the European market.
  • BUT - the European Commission asked ETSI (and Cenelec) to develop/adopt "Harmonised Standards" (M/536 Commission Implementing Decision)
  • Each manufacturer is required to provide "material" in order to proof the conformity with the directive - RED.
  • Each manufacturer has to provide a "CE Marking" - this is just a confirmation that the product is compliant with whatever relevant regulations. These confirmity declaraions are very different - some indicate TX power max (Cisco Meraki documentation), others only compliance to RED, RHOS, REACH, WEEE ... (Linksys WRT 3200WRT)

And here we come to the essential point:
If a manufacturer declares conformity to RED by applying the ETSI standards it is assumed, that this is compliant to RED. And this is a major advantage for the manufacturer - he can use all known and accpted procedures to proof conformity of quite "fuzzy" regulations in the RED. No extra need of explanations, much shorter times to get the desired CE conformity "ticket".

  • (International) manufacturers usually meet the RED requirements by applying the voluntary Harmonised Standards developed by ETSI (no matter how they set the TX power limit - there is - i guess - many ways to ensure, that the device does not operate with more than 100mW when it is delivered to the consumer).
  • ETSI is an independant non profit organisation with hundreds of members including not only national administrations, but also international organisations and individual companies.
  • ETSI defines 100mW (20dBm) as the harmonised standard for the 2,4 GHz band (page 16 - Limit).

In Europe there is no legally binding EU law restriction for the TX power limitation of 100mW or 20dBm -

  • BUT if a manufacturer does not declare to have set this limit he might need to argue with athorisation organisation - and this usually takes lot of time and energy - so they follow a recommendation elaborated in order to have "Harmonised Standards" in Europe.
  • And another potential BUT is how EU member states translated the directive into their national law, they might directly regulate that selling equipment with higher output than 100mW is forbidden - but usually they just forbid the operation of equipment exeeding a certain power limit.

Coming back to OpenWRT - I still believe no developer of an OpenSource product breaks a law if they enable features some hardware is capable to deliver. I still believe in the responsibility of every person to be in line with their legal regulations or not to be in line and take the consequences.

@lleachii: I've no advise for you - I'm just more than surprised and disappointed by your almost personal attacks
@jeff: you're right - I'm angry with myself that I have assumed, that an WRT advertised router does not have adjustable output and after my learnings I'm angry with Linksys to set such absolute limit - my router goes back and lot's of CAT7 cable and 6a sockets will come :grin: and thanks for remaining constructive, although you might disagree :+1:
@Sparks: thanks for your initial tips to solve my problem - I take your recommendations including your comments regarding the "other side of the router" - forgot about that - very helpful! - Thanks!

Found a wonderful summery:

  • If a piece of equipment only get an "assumed" ETSI recommendation, how do they sell the same piece of equipment in all other nations requiring a CE or FCC certificate?

  • Does this mean that you believe - if a device only has an ETSI recommendation that you do not have a 100mW limitation in Europe?

  • Isn't ETSI European, what about the law in your individual nation?

BTW, the link you presented is not up to date (I'll levae you to read):

I also read, I see nothing about frequencies over 300 MHz.



Noting that the conversation is basically concluded, i just thought i'd leave one more interesting and crucial link to the CRDA git repository.
If you know how to read it, you can figure out what the regulations are per country, and what is sometimes more interesting is the comments embedded within the file itself to some of the regulatory documentation from which the rules were derived.

For example, Australia:

# Source:
# Both DFS-ETSI and DFS-FCC are acceptable per AS/NZS 4268 Appendix B.
# The EIRP for DFS bands can be increased by 3dB if TPC is implemented.
# In order to allow 80MHz operation between 5650-5730MHz the upper boundary
# of this more restrictive band has been shifted up by 5MHz from 5725MHz.
country AU: DFS-ETSI
	(2400 - 2483.5 @ 40), (36)
	(5150 - 5250 @ 80), (23), NO-OUTDOOR, AUTO-BW
	(5250 - 5350 @ 80), (20), NO-OUTDOOR, AUTO-BW, DFS
	(5470 - 5600 @ 80), (27), DFS
	(5650 - 5730 @ 80), (27), DFS
	(5730 - 5850 @ 80), (36)
	(57000 - 66000 @ 2160), (43), NO-OUTDOOR