MORE than 4,000 businesses in Wrexham have no access to superfast broadband, it has been revealed.

And there are no commercial plans to address the issue in the next three years, with an estimated 4,500 premises unable to reach speeds of up to 30 megabytes (mbps) per second.

The information was disclosed in a report on plans to achieve improved digital connectivity for North Wales, which is set to go before councillors in Wrexham next week.

It also shows that the county ranks in the bottom 25 per cent of UK local authority areas for ultrafast broadband coverage.

Steve Bayley, Wrexham Council’s Head of Housing and Economy, said the town was lagging behind in receiving speeds of 100mbps or more compared to Gwynedd and Anglesey.

“There is significant evidence to support the need for intervention in order to improve digital connectivity," he said.

“Demand for high speed broadband and mobile connectivity in North Wales has kept pace with supply.

"However, the infrastructure in the region has historically lagged behind the rest of the UK in terms of coverage and capacity.

“With the exception of Virgin Media in Wrexham, no other network operator providing broadband to residential and business customers has a significant presence in North Wales, other than BT Plc via Openreach Ltd.

“This contrasts with the UK and particularly English regions, where the market has been rapidly populated with new entrants in the last decade providing competitively priced ultrafast broadband.

“While superfast coverage is relatively poor by UK rates, in Gwynedd and Isle of Anglesey, these counties have some of the highest coverages of ultrafast broadband.”

Plans are now underway to improve the situation, not only in Wrexham but across the region.

The North Wales Economic Ambition Board has launched a £56 million bid to improve digital connectivity, which is detailed in the report.

The North Wales Digital Connectivity Strategy forms part of a growth bid to create better infrastructure.

It is also aimed at putting businesses in the area on a level playing field with other parts of the country.

The growth vision identifies a number of key sites, including both Wrexham Technology Park and Wrexham Industrial Estate, which is one of the largest industrial estates in Europe.

Other sites include the Wrexham business quarter, industrial estates in Llay, Whitegate, Five Crosses, Rhosddu and the Vauxhall Industrial Estate.

Mr Bayley added: “The North Wales Digital Connectivity Strategy addresses the common issues which impact negatively on current broadband and mobile connectivity within the region and it identifies the key interventions that will help to deliver significant improvements in digital connectivity across the whole of North Wales.

“The North Wales Digital Connectivity Strategy is supplemented by six individual local strategies, based on each of the local authority administrative boundaries, which identify specific issues and potential interventions at a local level and those which also feed into the regional strategy.”