I am in Australia and am a satellite user. I have no mobile phone coverage and no DSL available on landline.
I used to use ISDN, that is, until our monopoly phone company decided to stop domestic ISDN and only allow the commercial variety. So, why did I go satellite? Simply because it is governement subsidised and available.
Under the old governement scheme I was attached to the Ipstar satellite, it was somewhat slow the latency was in the region of 1300ms and the download caps were poor (upload counted as well).
Now I have the new governement scheme supplied by NBN, govt. owned and controled.
NBN did the whole installation free of charge, they own the equipment therefore they also maintain it.
The speed is higher than under the old scheme and the data cap is also higher and latency is now around 700ms.
Under the above circumstances I'd be silly to not use satellite, however, if I had to pay for the whole shebang, there is no way I would have it, I'd be using dial-up.
So, I agree with previous posters, with no govt. subsidy satellite broadband would be dead in the water.
I dunno how the Yanks do it, unless they pay lots of money and only do email or a small amount of browsing.