Is satellite internet access viable for rural areas?

Episode 987 (1:21:26)

Richard from Montana

Richard lives in an area that doesn't give him either broadband or cellphone coverage, and is wondering if satellite internet is a viable option. Leo says if it's all he can get, then that's the only option. The equipment is expensive, though, and the upload speed is very slow. There's latency that's pretty bad so gaming and VOiP such as Skype would be an issue. There's also serious bandwidth caps. If that's not important, then it'll work. Leo recommends Exede, also known as WildBlue.

Google is working on something called Project Loon, where the goal is to make internet access available through giant balloons flying around the globe. Leo wonders if it's an April Fool's joke holdover because that's crazy! Apparently they're already doing this in Africa, though.