A 5G mast was torched by suspected conspiracy nuts who left nearly 3,000 people without phone or broadband.
Vandals set fire to both the mast and broadband cabinets near Longstomps Avenue, Chelmsford, Essex, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Openreach engineers are now trying to repair the devastating damage caused by the blaze but warned it was no easy fix and could take a few days.
The suspected arson is the third attack on towers in Chelmsford over the past year, giving police reason to believe the incidents are related.
According to reports, misinformation and conspiracy theories attempting to link 5G to the coronavirus pandemic, may have motivated the crime which left home workers and schoolers in the area without internet.
Speaking about the attack, Kevin Murphy, managing director of fibre network delivery at Openreach, said: “Our network in Chelmsford was attacked by arsonists in the early hours of Sunday morning, leaving around 2,700 without phone and broadband services.
“Attacks on our equipment are deeply concerning, especially considering so many people are relying on their broadband during lockdown to work, home school 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.
“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.”
Police have now urged anyone with any information about the incident to get in touch.
A spokesperson for the force said: “We are investigating reports of a suspected arson at Longstomps Avenue, Chelmsford.
“The fire is believed to have been started in the early hours of Sunday 31 January and has caused significant damage to Openreach telecommunications equipment, affecting thousands of residents in the area.
“If anyone has any information, they are asked to call us on 101 quoting crime reference 42/18083/21 or to report it online at www.essex.police.uk.”