Users of BT's ADSL broadband service, Openworld, found the service closed for business for most of Wednesday and Thursday this week when they tried to access the internet.

An estimated 30 exchanges in Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of England were down due to 'technical problems', which meant users had no internet access for just over 24 hours.

"Services are now up and running," said a spokesperson at BTopenworld, the arm of BT responsible for providing ADSL to consumers.

BTopenworld offered users little more help than a recorded message that stated, "We are currently investigating a technical problem with a number of telephone exchanges which may be affecting your ability to connect to the BTopenworld broadband service."

It has been rumoured that BTopenworld is intending to increase the cost of its ADSL package, following ISP Freeserve which announced this week it was upping its prices by £120 a year.

"We keep prices constantly in mind; they may go up and they may go down, this is nothing new," said a BTopenworld spokeswoman.

But despite current charges of £39.99 a month, users shouldn't expect a refund for the lost 24 hours of service.

"This is an expected part of the service, just as if your telephone line went down you wouldn't be refunded," said a spokesperson.

The fault has been blamed on a cable being accidentally cut in the Manchester area.