Google has been scouting data center locations in Australia, but has not yet decided whether to build a new facility there, according to local media reports. A team of five Google employees from the U.S. has been "involved in high-level discussions with local data center providers," according to Australian IT. "While we're investing in our Australian operations, we haven't made any decisions about whether we'll locate a data centre here," said Google Australia spokesman Rob Shilkin.
A number of large educational institutions and governmental agencies in Australia have migrated to Gmail, Google's webmail program. But some of these customers say transit costs to route e-mail to Google servers in U.S. data centers have mounted, and are pressing for a local data center to serve Australian customers.
Australia isn't the only country in the region that has been visited by Google site location teams. In January several Asian countries reported that they there in the running for Google data center projects, including Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, India and even Vietnam. Google has also said it will invest $300 million to help build an undersea communications cable across the Pacific, but has yet to announce any data center projects in the region.