Router manufacturer Netgear filed a lawsuit against fellow tech company Asus in California Northern District Court, accusing Asus of violating FCC regulations for peak power output and submitting altered models to the government to skew test results.
The FCC regulates how much WiFi signal a device is allowed to put out, because over a certain level, the signal could interfere with emergency frequencies and household appliances. In the suit, Netgear claims Asus sent one version of their routers to the FCC for testing, while marketing a different model to consumers.
Netgear says their tests show that certain Asus routers give off a significantly stronger signal that the models submitted to the FCC. One result says that the model tested by the FCC gave off 23.92 dBM and that same model tested by an independent lab at Netgear’s request, gave of 34.24 dBm.
With the increased signal levels, the Asus routers would seem to have a better signal when used at home, but they would achieve that by breaking the rules.
Netgear says they alerted Asus to the issue, but the company didn’t take any action. Netgear wants the court to stop Asus from selling the routers they say don’t comply with FCC guidelines. They accuse the company of false advertising and demand damages for unfair competition and interference with business. They also want Asus to pay the court costs.
The lawsuit says Netgear “has lost a large portion of its expected sales and lost much of its existing market share for premium Wireless Routers” due to the unfair practices.
The router models named in the lawsuit are the Asus RT-N65U and Asus RT-AC66U.