Internet access was achieved via two options, satellite or through the phone "system", there is no cable in Gabon. Satellite was certainly the least expensive, but since the connection is weak and greatly affected by the weather, a better option would have been to use a box of old newspapers and magazines for search and two tins cans and some string for email.
Achieving internet access through the phone lines was the best option. It worked 65% of the time and the connection was fast enough to bring up most websites. Although, if you wanted to view that 3 minute video that your friends were sending around, it could take 45 minutes to download. Of course, if you lost the connection in the middle, you would have to start the download all over again.
Electricity was another challenge. The U.S. Embassy compound where I lived had a large generator system. Whenever the electricity went out, which could be frequent, the generator would take less than 2 seconds to kick in. Of course, since our internet provider did not have a generator, the fact that our lights and A/C kept running had nothing to do with maintaining an internet connection...back to the tins cans and some string.
Everyone talks about how wonderful skype is, especially when traveling. Those people have never been to Gabon. The one time that I was able to connect, with both voice and video, the time delay was more than 4 minutes. Try talking to anyone back home with a 4 minute delay...not so wonderful.
Despite my complaining about the connection in Libreville, I was able to keep contact with friends at home, do research for work and maintain this blog. I suppose it's just like anything else, it takes a little getting used to.