Cornell to charge students and faculty for "excessive net use"

In a move certain to garner more headlines and a substantial following of observers, Cornell University has announced that they will be charging users for usage that exceeds 2GB per month.

The policy, detailed in this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education sounds innocuous enough, until you get to the part about collecting IP-based router data for use in billing.

Although I don't doubt that the university is trying to recapture some of the supposed $1.4M/year that they spend on bandwidth to the Internet, it sounds a lot like this is an anti-filesharing plan designed to limit usage and home in on the users of these systems and I have no doubt that their new policy for data stewardship will be put to the test when the record companies and movie companies sue them as they have done in other jurisdictions. And now, they will have the infrastructure to support such statistical gathering.

According to the article, the students will be charged $4/month internet fee, but their other fees will include an embedded $26.35 port and infrastructure fee. This would be $30.35 in the real world. As far as I can tell, somewhere around 2/3 of the cost of a cable modem. Of course, you're talking about 6kbps of bandwidth availability, whereas most cable modems will allow you between 500 and 1500kbps always-on, so you decide if this is a fair pricing model...