Tried to pull a fast one

It’s all over the place: Busybox developers file GPL infringement lawsuit against Verizon Communications with the help of the Software Freedom Law Center.

Turns out the Actiontec MI424WR used for FiOS service is using Busybox as part of the firmware. Problem is, the maker of the router (Actiontec) and Verizon are not releasing the firmware source code for the device or providing access to the source code anywhere at all.

Those are the most basic facts. Here is the rub… at work I provide support to another Actiontec device (namely, the GT704W modem) used for DSL connectivity. The thing has at least three firmware versions known to me and all of them could be using Busybox as part of the firmware for all I know.
I don’t feel proud of giving support for a company that — would seem — is stealing from the open source community. Linksys got caught trying to pull a fast one with the WRT54G but came through after some pressure, but here we’re talking about a device thousands of people must get in order to be able to use DSL.

I hope the SFLC wins on this one.

This is not really related to the issue above, but you might find it really helpful. Verizon made some “special” modifications to the GT704WG’s firmware so after resetting the thing is asks you to setup your DSL account. To bypass this, go to, login with admin/password and you’ll get to a nifty page with a warning to call tech support; if the button says OFF click on it will to toggle it ON, then power cycle. You’re done.

To recap:

  • ON = Installation wizard is disabled. This is what you want.
  • OFF = Enable fail-prone installation wizard.

2 thoughts on “Tried to pull a fast one”

  1. Robert Piera Roehm

    Thanks sooo much! You saved me countless hours of aggravation trying to get the damn thing to UNLOCK!

    I tell you, the telco companies are treating these DSL modems like cell phones – so many blasted restrictions!

    I was just about to cancel my DSL service in favor of my Sprint Wireless.

    Now all I need to do is to get a “multiplexing” thing going on… if a service times out using the DSL network, it should request the service through the broadband wireless key as those usually are shipped unlocked

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