DFS and radar
"That is a lot of FUD for devices whose 5hz signals can often be measured in meters."
It's not FUD, there's some shots online of 5ghz wifi interfering with weather radars. It can be received meters away using a tiny wifi-sized antenna... but weather radar uses a much larger antenna to try to detect reflections from up to 200 miles or so away.
"Debian Linux, as an example, defaulted to a minimal wireless config where the wireless was limited very limited channel wise until I specified my actual region. After I set my region, it opened the channels allowed by my country. To change that, would require me to actually go and edit the kernel source."
(Or change the regulatory region.) But still, point made, the aftermarket firmware can follow regulatory limits.
I actually know where the FCC is coming from here. Their response is 100% wrong, but the problem is there?
I have a Cisco E4200 with DD-WRT on it (among some other access points, but his is the only one with 5ghz support.) I set the regulatory domain to US and it removes channels 12, 13, and 14 on 2.4ghz. On 5ghz? If I take the channel off "auto" it lists like 20 or so channels, but about 12 of those are supposed to require DFS. The GUI gives no indication those channels are any different from the other channels.
My proposal to the FCC is
1) Scrap the signed firmware thing. It's a waste of time, the firmware signature system will be cracked anyway and it'l then be just as easy to put my own firmware on as it is now.
2) I assume most people are not intentionally breaking FCC regs, but the current GUI just gives no information whatsoever to determine if a setup follows FCC rules or not (it uses the installed regulatory DB to remove totally prohibited channels but doesn't seem to use the DFS, TPC, etc. info at all). If the DD-WRT so much as put a asterisk ("*") next to DFS channels, and a short explanation of what the asterisk means (in short, pick a different channel or use "auto"), most people would choose non-asterisk channels. If the user chooses a DFS channel anyway it can either give a firm warning or refuse to set to that channel. They can't "force" DD-WRT to do this (since they are based in Germany) but it's such an easy change I seriously doubt there'd be resistance.