French telecoms operator Orange has pledged to extend its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks to cover 100% of nine cities, namely Bayonne, Brest, Caen, Lyon, Metz, Montpellier, Nice, Paris and seven municipalities of Lille Metropole (Villeneuve d’Ascq, Marcq-en-Baroeul, Wasquehal, Lezennes, La Madeleine, Lambersart and Mons-en-Baroeul), by 2016. From May 2015, all eligible users in the aforementioned locations will be able to sign up to Orange’s fibre services. The operator said that the initiative is part of its ‘Essentials 2020’ strategic programme, under which Orange Group will invest more than EUR15 billion (USD15.90 billion) in its networks from 2015 to 2018. In France, Orange plans to triple its investments in fibre-optic networks by 2020 and increase the number of connected homes from four million in April 2015 to twelve million in 2018 and 20 million (2022). Orange France, which has deployed fibre networks in more than 530 municipalities as of April 2015, is planning to extend its FTTH coverage to 3,600 municipalities by 2022, equivalent to 60% of all French households.