A transAtlantic cable was severed.

If you are interested in how this is done, take a look at
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.12/ffglass_pr.html The article
is from December of 1996 and is a fascinating description of FLAG,
a 28,000 km fiber-optic cable between England and Japan.

Here is an excerpt regarding the repair ships:

  Clearly, submarine cable repair is a good business to be in. Cable
  repair ships are standing by in ports all over the world, on 24-hour
  call, waiting for a break to happen somewhere in their neighborhood.
  They are called agreement ships. Sometimes, when nothing else is
  going on, they will go out and pull up old abandoned cables. The
  stated reason for this is that the old cables present a hazard to
  other ships. However, if you do so much as raise an eyebrow at this
  explanation, any cable man will be happy to tell you the real
  reason: whenever a fisherman snags his net on anything - a rock,
  a wreck, or even a figment of his imagination - he will go out and
  sue whatever company happens to have a cable in that general
  vicinity. The cable companies are waiting eagerly for the day when
  a fisherman goes into court claiming to have snagged his nets on
  a cable, only to be informed that the cable was pulled up by an
  agreement ship years before.

and here is a longer excerpt regarding the repair process:

  This raises two questions, one simple and one nauseatingly difficult
  and complex. First, how does one repair a cable if it's too tight
  to haul up?

  The answer is that it must first be pulled slightly off the seafloor
  by a detrenching grapnel, which is a device, meant to be towed
  behind a ship, that rolls across the bottom of the ocean on two
  fat tractor tires. Centered between those tires is a stout,
  wicked-looking, C-shaped hook, curving forward at the bottom like
  a stinger. It carves its way through the muck and eventually gets
  under the cable and lifts it up and holds it steady just above the
  seafloor. At this point its tow rope is released and buoyed off.

  The ship now deploys another towed device called a cutter, which,
  seen from above, is shaped like a manta ray. On the top and bottom
  surfaces it carries V-shaped blades. As the ship makes another pass
  over the detrenching grapnel, one of these blades catches the cable
  and severs it.

  It is now possible to get hold of the cut ends, using other grapnels.
  A cable repair ship carries many different kinds of grapnels and
  other hardware, and keeping track of them and their names (like
  "long prong Sam") is sort of like taking a course in exotic marine
  zoology. One of the ends is hauled up on board ship, and a new
  length of cable is spliced onto it solely to provide excess slack.
  Only now can both ends of the cable be brought aboard the ship at
  the same time and the final splice made.

  But now the cable has way too much slack. It can't just be dumped
  overboard, because it would form an untidy heap on the bottom,
  easily snagged. Worse, its precise location would not be known,
  which is suicide from a legal point of view. As long as a cable's
  position is precisely known and marked on charts, avoiding it is
  the responsibility of every mariner who comes that way. If it's
  out of place, any snags are the responsibility of the cable's
  owners.

  So the loose loop of cable must be carefully lowered to the bottom
  on the end of a rope and arranged into a sideways bight that lies
  alongside the original route of the cable something like an oxbow
  lake beside a river channel. The geometry of this bight is carefully
  recorded with sidescan sonar so that the information can be forwarded
  to the people who update the world's nautical charts.

  One problem: now you have a rope between your ship's winch and the
  recently laid cable. It looks like an old-fashioned, hairy, organic
  jute rope, but it has a core of steel. It is a badass rope, extremely
  strong and heavy and expensive. You could cut it off and drop it,
  but this would waste money and leave a wild rope trailing across
  the seafloor, inviting more snags.

  So at this point you deploy your submersible remotely operated
  vehicle (ROV) on the end of an umbilical. It rolls across the seabed
  on its tank tracks, finds the rope, and cuts it with its terrifying
  hydraulic guillotine.

  ...