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I some sort of external line fault last Friday, which OpenReach had fixed by Thursday.
But ever since the fix my internet light is red. And logging into the router I see the problem is reported as "authentication failed".
Will Plusnet deactivate the account in the event of a lengthy disconnection?
Welcome to the forums.
No Plusnet will not have deactivated your account. However the router may have lost your details or did you alter your password on the Plusnet portal in the last week?
If you have a Plusnet supplied router, then the guides to either reset them or change the username password is at https://www.plus.net/help/broadband/router-user-guides/
Remember your username in the router connection field is firstname.lastname@example.org and the password is the one you use at https://portal.plus.net/index_nlp.html
Brief details at https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/router-reconnect