Broadcom wireless network adapters have long been notorious with Linux users since this hardware vendor has not provided any open-source Linux drivers or specifications for their chipsets, even though Broadcom ASICs are dominantly used within today's wireless adapters. There's long been community projects like bcm43xx and b43 to create Linux drivers and use extracted Windows firmware and such to make the 802.11 adapters work, but for Broadcom's new 802.11n chipsets they have made a radical turn and are releasing a fully open-source Linux driver!..
Glad that wireless should virtually always be as plug-n-play as wired has been on Linux from now on no doubt. It already had great support, so that should hopefully finish the job for the most part. Glad Broadcom finally woke up.
I thought intel wireless (iwl wifi) driver still requires firmware, which is proprietary, yet it is in kernel. I think right now Atheros driver is the only one that doesn't require any external firmware.
Nevertheless, it is great news that there is finally open source broadcom wireless drivers. b43 has been stable on the 80211b/g chips and used to work great on my old dell notebook (dell 1397). The new ones with 80211n (dell 1510n) is I guess still not supported by b43. Thankfully, they were supported by broadcom's proprietary driver (broadcom-sta), but it was a bit unstable and flaky to my liking.
However, I wonder without ap, encryption, led, rfkill, what does it really do except consuming power for tx/rx .
I think atheros linux wireless drivers (ath9k, ath5k) are the best. Not only do they require any extra firmware, it has been my most stable wireless experience on Linux.
Also, last but not the least, a lot of thanks to the b43 driver developers for their great effort over the last few years.