Someone putting up a fence in Peacehaven dug through a fibre optic cable and left thousands of people unable to watch TV or use their phones and without an internet connection.
The problem affected Sky, BT and Talk Talk customers and was compounded when an EE mobile phone company mast also went down.
Sky apologised to 32,000 customers in East Sussex in an area stretching from Peacehaven and Telscombe Cliffs to the other side of Hastings.
The damaged cable belonged to BT Openreach, the business that owns almost all of Britain’s national broadband and telephone network, regardless of the service operating company.
The cable was reported to have been damaged in seven places, believed to be where holes had been dug for fence posts.
The damage was done yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 5 July). Sky said: “Extensive damage was caused by digging work in area.”
BT said: “We’re really sorry but we’ve got a major problem at the moment in the Sussex area which means that some of our customers will be having trouble getting online and using their phones.
“Engineers are on site working on fixing a cable that has been damaged. We’re trying to fix the problem as quickly as we can. ”
Late this afternoon Sky said: “We can confirm that all services have been restored and we’re monitoring to ensure everything is stable.”
Some customers were, though, still reporting problems this evening.