Blue Ridge first to sign up for Rovi's ETV/EBIF application; Homeplug Powerline Alliance enhances certification program

> Blue Ridge Communications is the first MSO to officially license Rovi's new Enhanced TV/Enhanced Binary Interchange Format (ETV/EBIF) application that gives subscribers access to interactive TV applications and other content through their program guide's menu. News release.

> Wide Open West (WOW!) has successfully implemented Centina Systems' network management technology for fault and performance management across its triple play voice, video and data networks. News release.

> In home networking news, silicon supplier Atheros Communications claims to have merged reference designs for WiFi and powerline home networks. The designs can be used by equipment makers to build gear that bridges wireless and home wireline networks for broadband delivery. Story.

> Powerline may be the way to go--if homeowners want security along with broadband flexibility. Security experts conducted an "ethical hacking" experiment across six UK cities and determined that almost half of all home WiFi networks can be hacked "in less than five seconds." Story.

> That's as good a reason as any to take notice of the news release from the HomePlug Powerline Alliance that it has enhanced its certification program to include devices using the recently ratified IEEE 1901 powerline standard that delivers more broadband throughput through electrical wiring.

And finally... Even with hacking and everything else, broadband is getting better. A study conducted by a team of MBA students (and isn't that special?) and sponsored by Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) has determined that global broadband quality has improved 24 percent in the past year in 72 countries around the world thanks to investments in infrastructure. Story.