There are huge swaths of the US that have no broadband outside of satellite - and even that is a very loose definition of broadband. I exited the ISP world early this year but I can safely say large parts of the midwest are no-man's land.
Look at the US national maps for unlimited data offerings by cell providers, any provider. There's a pretty good correlation between no unlimited data and no landbased broadband.
As to the Canadian Bell charges I would hope he gets good counsel - a reasonable person shouldn't expect that a $10 a month contract can lead to thousands of dollars of charges. Of course the Bell will charge outrageously, it's a company mandate to screw the clients. Anyone in the telco world will tell you similar horror stories of overbilling that were finally resolved in their favor.