Thousands of Londoners where forced to live without the Internet today after thieves broke into a BT exchange in Mayfair and stole £2 million worth of equipment.

According to reports, thieves entered the premises on Farm Street, off Park Lane, between 8pm and 9pm before grabbing servers, routers and network cards.

The move meant homes and businesses were without the Internet on Thursday.

Police would not say whether the raid was being connected with similar raids over the past year.

BT issued the following statement:

"We can confirm there was a break-in at our Mayfair Telephone Exchange last night (Wednesday), this is a now an ongoing police investigation and therefore we are unable to comment further."

"BT apologises for any disruption caused to our customers. Our engineers are working around the clock to ensure that full service is up and running as soon as possible."

The Evening Standard suggests that the thieves could have used the 40th birthday party of the film director Guy Ritchie in a pub nearby as a distraction.