Congress poised to gift billions to internet service providers

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Legislation currently wending its way through Congress could extend 100 percent bonus depreciation of property for US businesses. That could add billions of dollars to the coffers of Internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon, AT&T and Charter Communications. Thomson Reuters defines bonus depreciation as "a tax incentive designed to stimulate business investment by allowing companies to accelerate the depreciation of qualifying assets, such as equipment, rather than write them off over the useful life of the asset. This strategy can reduce a company's income tax, which in turn reduces its tax liability." The new legislation would "provide significant financial benefits to ISPs," summarized Blair Levin, a policy adviser to New Street Research and a former high-level Federal Communications Commission official, in a note to investors.

Congress poised to gift billions to ISPs