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Venable partner Patsy McGowan was quoted in an August 6, 2014 Law360 article on fiber optic network businesses seeking to restructure as real estate investment trusts (REITs). To be classified as REITs, fiber optics companies must meet two criteria, their assets must primarily be real estate and their assets must generate rental income. Earlier this year, the federal government released proposed regulations which could apply to fiber optic, however they do not address them specifically making REIT conversion a challenge.

As the world changes, we’re having to take a different look at what real estate assets are. In the 1960s, we didn’t have data storage centers or cellphone towers,” said McGowan. “This may open up some opportunities.”