A number of businesses in the Digbeth area of Birmingham have suffered a telecommunications blackout following severe damage to a BT line.
A BT spokeswoman confirmed the fault on a line in Fazeley Street had required major work and problems had to led to some firms being unable to use their phonelines.
"We are having to do a substantial amount of underground recabling," she said.
The problem followed the breech of an airlock, which had allowed water into the system.
"We can't say how many customers are affected," she admitted.
However, Teamworks Karting, one of the businesses that lost its telephone, fax and internet lines, was told by BT that 250 pairs of lines had been affected - a number that the spokeswoman said the engineers could not confirm.
"This is a very big deal for a company like ours," said Michael Bryant, a director of the karting company. "We got very angry and said this has the potential to devastate any business."
His first line went down on Saturday morning. This was followed by further dead lines over the weekend, until it finally lost its ADSL internet line yesterday afternoon.
Workers were due to work late last night and BT hoped the problem would be fixed some time today as long as engineers did not hit any unforeseen snags.