Published: 16:52, 06 April 2022
| Updated: 17:33, 06 April 2022
Thousands of people have been left without internet and broadband after a suspected arson attack in Staplehurst.
Homes, businesses and even some medical practices could be without the services until next week after problems started last night.
Some residents have been told they could be without their Openreach services for the rest of the week due to the incident, while Openreach has said it could be "several days".
BT's service checker says the problem began just before midnight at 11.50pm.
The Bower Dental surgery in Staplehurst High Street told patients: "Due to some technical issues in Staplehurst, we are having trouble with our phone lines and internet.
"If you can't get through to us on the phone, please send us an e-mail."
Staplehurst Health Centre added: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, there is an internet problem in the local area which is affecting our phone lines and email system.
"Apologies for any inconveniences this may cause."
Pete Stewart, UK Operations director for Openreach said: “There was a suspected arson attack on our network in Staplehurst late on Tuesday evening, leaving around 7,400 without phone and broadband services. Engineers are working hard to resolve the situation, but it is a complex fix and may take several days.
"Attacks on our equipment are deeply concerning, especially considering that so many people rely on their broadband for work, study, to get medical support and stay connected with loved ones.
"We know how frustrating this must be for those affected and we’ll be doing what we can to prioritise fixes for vulnerable customers and key local services.
"We’d ask that anyone experiencing any disruption to report it to their service provider who will then inform us.
"Our security team is working with the relevant authorities to make sure that this incident is fully investigated and those responsible are held to account.”