The deal gives the new company access to 1,500 retail propertiesthat Chain Links represents. The firm will earn royalties onservices that MyShoppingCenter will provide, and has taken awarrant to buy equity in the new company, but would not discloseterms of the deal.

Chain Links officials believe it represents a fast way to bringbroadband to retail sites. Despite the need for broadband services,retail centers have been largely overlooked as real estate andtelecommunications companies rush to wire office buildings. "Therehasn't been the cost-justification for putting that fat pipe into ashopping center," says Troy Peple, president of Chain Links.

Gary Mansfield, president and chief operating officer, saysretailers need it even more than offices do. "The demands formultimedia solutions in retail are significantly higher," he says.Consumers will use it more than office workers, generating higherrequirements per square foot.

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