in brief A fibre cable cut has downed 19,000 Telstra services and 8000 ADSL services in East Maitland and the Hunter Valley.
The cut, which also affected a "small number" of mobile towers and some digital data lines, appears to have been carried out deliberately, according to the company.
"Initial investigations indicate the fibre appears to have been deliberately cut. This will be the subject of further investigation, but our current priority is restoration of services," Telstra said in a statement.
The company found out about the severed cable in the early hours of the morning. Telstra crews were already rejoining the fibre cables, with the expectation that services would be restored over the next few hours.