Center on the Digital Economy


The Center on the Digital Economy at The Heartland Institute works to advance this simple notion: The Internet is not "broken," and government attempts to "fix it" will retard the enormous potential for economic growth fueled by advances in telecommunications and technology.

Heartland believes that rules for the Internet and electronic commerce should result from private collective action, not government regulation. We believe protection of private property rights is an essential condition for effective planning and the long-term growth of the digital economy.

And we believe that effective free-market advocacy and education are required to overcome the statist special-interest groups who have for too long had the ear of policy-makers who are eager to regulate. If the public is to benefit from the many opportunities and efficiencies made possible by the digital revolution, then the market, not bureaucrats, must lead the way.

Read Heartland's Policy Brief, "Neutralism: The Strange Philosophy Behind the Movement for Net Neutrality."


  • Digital Learning

    The use of broadband and computer-assisted learning programs can revolutionize K-12 schooling by boosting student achievement, reducing the need for small class sizes, and making more distance learning possible. Students, parents, and taxpayers all benefit when regulatory barriers to digital learning are repealed.
  • Municipal Wi-Fi

    There's a reason why municipal wi-fi schemes have failed in nearly every city they've been tried: A municipal government cannot possibly hope to compete with well-capitalized broadband providers in a highly competitive market. In fact, muni wi-fi projects are counter-productive -- crowding out private firms, resulting in fewer choices for consumers and slower service.
  • Net Neutrality

    Net Neutrality enforced by the government is a solution in search of a problem. Market forces are already working well to ensure broadband providers fairly treat traffic over the Internet. Allowing the Federal Communications Commission to regulate broadband and the Internet would stifle investment and innovation, and put the government on the road to policing digital content.