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Media Contact: 
Will Wiquist, 202-418-0509
For Immediate Release
TP-Link to Work with Open-Source Community and Wi-Fi Chipset Manufacturers to Enable 
Third-Party Firmware on Wi-Fi Routers
WASHINGTON, August 1, 2016 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has 
reached a $200,000 settlement with TP-Link, resolving an investigation into certain Wi-Fi routers that 
were not in full compliance with Commission rules pertaining to power levels.  As part of the settlement, 
TP-Link has agreed to adopt robust compliance measures to ensure that its existing and future Wi-Fi 
routers are in compliance. TP-Link has also agreed to work with the open-source community and Wi-Fi 
chipset manufacturers to enable consumers to install third-party firmware on their Wi-Fi routers.
“The Commission’s equipment rules strike a careful balance of spurring innovation while protecting 
against harmful interference,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau.  “While 
manufacturers of Wi-Fi routers must ensure reasonable safeguards to protect radio parameters, users are 
otherwise free to customize their routers and we support TP-Link’s commitment to work with the open-
source community and Wi-Fi chipset manufacturers to enable third-party firmware on TP-Link routers.”
In its investigation, the Enforcement Bureau found that TP-Link marketed several Wi-Fi router models in 
the U.S. that included a user setting that violated Section 15.15(b) of the Commission’s rules by enabling 
the routers to operate at power levels that exceed their approved parameters on certain restricted Wi-Fi 
channels.  To resolve the matter, TP-Link has taken measures to halt the sale of noncompliant units and 
ensure that new units are in compliance.  
TP-Link cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation and, as part of the consent decree, has agreed to pay a 
$200,000 fine and implement a compliance program to ensure future compliance with the Commission’s 
rules and regulations.  In particular, TP-Link will institute processes to ensure that products imported or 
marketed in the U.S. are in compliance with the FCC’s rules, remove any noncompliant products from the 
U.S. marketplace and offer an updated user-downloadable version of software on its website so that 
affected users can bring their Wi-Fi router into compliance.  
TP-Link has also agreed to take steps to support innovation in third-party router firmware by committing
to investigate security solutions for certain 5 GHz band routers that would permit the use of third-party 
firmware while meeting the Commission’s security requirements and maintaining the integrity of critical 
radio parameters.
Under Commission rules, devices such as routers are certified by the FCC’s Office of Engineering and 
Technology for use on unlicensed wireless spectrum within certain output levels so as to prevent 
interference with other lawful wireless communications, including those on adjacent spectrum bands.  
Manufacturers of approved devices have a responsibility to ensure their devices cannot be used in ways 
that interfere with other wireless signals.  The Enforcement Bureau’s investigation found that TP-Link 
marketed wireless router models that could be manipulated to operate at a higher power than allowed on 
certain restricted Wi-Fi channels.
The TP-Link Consent Decree is available at:
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes 
official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).