Around 8000 Telecom customers in Auckland were left without internet access yesterday after a hardware fault at the company's Mt Albert exchange.

The ADSL(jetstream) fault occurred at around 4.05pm and affected around 5000 Xtra customers and 3000 wholesale ISP users, Telecom said.

The fault affected the suburbs surrounding Mt Albert, as well as some corporate business customers.

Internet access was originally expected to be restored by 9.00pm, but Telecom later said its staff were continuing to to work on the fault.

This morning a spokeswoman said the fault had been restored at 1.20am.

- HERALD ONLINE STAFF