"Contestants have the option of adding features, such as those that would address hard-coded, factory default, or easy-to-guess passwords," according to the official site, but "The tool would, at a minimum, help protect consumers from security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software." The winning submission can't be just a policy (or legal) solution, and will be judged by a panel which includes two computer science professors and a vulnerability researcher from Carnegie Mellon University's CERT Coordination Center.
Computerworld points out that "This isn't the first time the FTC has offered cash for software tools. In 2015, it awarded $10,500 to developers of an app that could block robocalls."
His submission ends with a question for Slashdot readers. "It's been nearly six years since the start of the bufferbloat project. Have you or has your ISP fixed your bufferbloat yet?"