"If we were just focused on making money, the first billion people we've connected have way more money than the rest of the next six billion combined. It's not fair but it's the way that it is," he said.
The partnership resembles one launched by Facebook in 2011 called Open Compute Project, which aims to improve the materials used in call centers and make them less energy-hungry.
That project was originally met with skepticism but has gradually won over the major players in the computer industry.
The latest plan marks an expansion in Zuckerberg's interest in public policy, months after he launched the advocacy group Fwd.us to lobby for US immigration and education reform along with support for scientific research.
The new thrust comes at a key time for tech groups. Mature markets are saturated, while poor regions have vast and growing reservoirs of potential new customers.
"The Internet not only connects us to our friends, families and communities, but it is also the foundation of the global knowledge economy," Zuckerberg said.
"By bringing everyone online, we'll not only improve billions of lives, but we'll also improve our own as we benefit from the ideas and productivity they contribute to the world."
His comments were echoed by heads of other companies taking part in the initiative.
"We are committed to shaping the Networked Society -- where everyone and everything will be connected in real time; creating the freedom, empowerment and opportunity to transform society,"Hans Vestberg, president and chief executive of Ericsson, said
MK Tsai, chairman of MediaTek, said: "Global Internet and social media access represent the biggest shift since the industrial revolution, and we want to make it all inclusive."