In "A joint policy proposal for an open internet", the companies lay out seven principles they believe should be acted upon and enforced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The move by the search and broadband giants follows reports last week that the pair were discussing network plans that would allow content creators to pay to have their traffic prioritised over non-paid for traffic, destroying an early principal of the internet 'net neutrality', which treats all content equally. The reports were flatly denied.
While positioning the proposals as enforcing the net neutrality principle, Google and Verizon have come under fire for what some see as loopholes within the plans that could lead to what has been described as a two-tier internet.
First, the companies have suggested the proposals should not be applied to wireless networks, only to wired broadband services, meaning access from smartphones and mobile internet devices such as the iPad would not be included in any legislation to prevent paid-for prioritisation.
The statement also refers to the exception of broadband providers offering "additional, differentiated online services, in addition to the Internet access and video services", naming 'health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options' as examples of such services.
Having attracted a barrage of criticism from internet campaign groups last week, despite denying the original reports, Google and Verizon appear to have done little to calm activists with the joint statement.
Joel Kelsey, political adviser at Free Press, a US-based organisation that campaigns for media reform, said: "Google and Verizon can try all they want to disguise this deal as a reasonable path forward, but the simple fact is this framework, if embraced by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, would transform the free and open internet into a closed platform like cable television."
"It's a signed-sealed-and-delivered policy framework with giant loopholes that blesses the carving up of the internet for a few deep-pocketed internet companies and carriers," he argued.
Commissioner Michael Copps of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which governs net service in the US, said one of the many problems with the announcement was the claim it moved the discussion on net neutrality forward.
He said: "It is time to move a decision forward – a decision to reassert FCC authority over broadband telecommunications, to guarantee an open Internet now and forever, and to put the interests of consumers in front of the interests of giant corporations."
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com