Verizon Communications Inc. said on Wednesday it expects its upgraded fiber network project, FiOS to be in more than 50 percent of all households in the US by 2010 that are within the company's service area.

The telecommunications company expressed confidence that FiOS investments for Internet service would generate positive economic returns and shareholder value. FiOS Internet services is already gaining market share in a growing broadband market. Verizon said it plans to pass 18 million premises with its fiber network by the end of 2010.

Our FiOS targets are based on what we view as achievable customer take-rates, reasonable pricing levels and conservative estimates of customer-retention metrics. Based on our experience deploying fiber, we see declining cost-trends to pass and connect homes, and we see significant ongoing operating expense savings, said Doreen Toben, Verizon executive vice president and chief financial officer.

To start, Verizon has set a target of 725,000 FiOS Internet customers by year-end 2006, with the service available for sale to 5 million premises.