Kernel 2.6.28 adds brand new WiFi regulatory domain handling; so if you upgrade from OpenSuSE 11.1 to 11.2 (and so from 2.6.27 to 2.6.31) you get this shiny new (FCC) sheriff's badge right there too. This is all fine and cool, only the userspace part is utterly broken in SuSE, so you're limited to world regulatory domain.
Ah, well, downloading Lineville's regulatory.bin fixes it. (Only it's a bit hard if you have NO FREAKING NETWORK because you use channel 13 on your AP and your OS decides that it's no channel 13 for you.) Or does it? Wait, it only gets better.
Now, apparently, your network card feels a citizen of the world. It doesn't matter you're an EU citizen in the EU and that the computer has been bought in the EU. EEPROM says world regdom, the kernel must obey. So you end up patching the driver to report correct regdom to kernel (because it obviously won't just let you override it, you malicious, evil bastard, you). I sure hope you have that kernel source around! And development tools. And stuff. Although I'd advise against those -s in the patch, they seem to break it further, dunno why.
Apparently you can use ath_info to patch up your EEPROM to report correct regdom, so you don't have to patch up ath.ko every time a kernel upgrade comes down the line. Fortunately the 11.1 repo's version still works. (It's regdom 0x37 for EU.) Just that... the card refuses to write it. So you're stuck with patching. Or just shut up and don't use channel 13. Which might explain exactly why it's usually less crowded. (Which, incidentally, is exactly why you'd want to use it.)
Oh, wait, you can enable EEPROM writing on AR5110. You just need to pull the GPIO EEPROM write enable pin. Of course, there's no datasheet anywhere in sight. You're lucky your humble editor took the risk and brute-forced all 10 pins (ok, not all, but he was ready to) and found the magic combination. It's # ath_info -g 1:0 -w <base-address> regdomain 0x37. lspci -v will tell you the address.