Australia, NZ, and most of Asia (South-East Asia specifically) are all islands (physically) and are “islands” (geo-politically). Meaning for those that have neighbors over land might not have the best relationships and therefore still have their primary internet access via submarine cables.
Short answer: Yes its sucks. There’s no “direct” line connecting Europe and Asia. They’re probably working on it.
Long answer: https://www.submarinecablemap.com/ . This map pretty much tells you where the physical (and public) submarine cables are located. Most of these public cables carry transit from local ISPs to the global networks. You’ll notice for a place like Australia, realistically they only have two connection points. Meaning you might have better latency to a US West-Coast server than a server in Europe. However, you will 100% have better network (from experience and actually being there) to a server in Singapore and Hong Kong.
There’s really no direct line going from Australia to Europe, whereas there’s multiple connections going from Australia to South-East Asia and US West Coast. Once you hit the US then the situation’s the same as any domestic network structures. These submarine cables are also super expensive and require repeaters every X miles from each other (with power) to boost the signal. I’d peg it at 10x or 20x the cost to operate these systems compared to a traditional “in the ground” fiber line. So that definitely means you’re going to have a limited network capacity that everyone’s going to want access to, and just costs more to upgrade to the “latest and greatest”.
But then timing also matters. If you’re on a business/enterprise network and have “higher priority access” on those fiber networks, then your traffic will be prioritized and you’ll probably get the best you can. But if you’re testing based on residential Australian internet (or a budget server in Australia that doesn’t pay for “P R E M I U M I N T E R N E T”) then they definitely have lower priority access to these pipes. That means during peak residential internet usage (e.g. 7-11 PM on a Friday) you’re going to have significantly higher latency, packet loss, and just see terrible metrics. But honestly there are times when shit even sucks for the more expensive networks. It’s like trying to drain a giant dam with a garden hose, it’ll do what it can but sometimes it’s just not enough.
So yeah. It sucks. But that’s why if you live in SEA or EA or AUS/NZ, there’s really no reason for you to buy an EU server when you can get better network performing (but expensive power, where many SEA countries are currently in a power crisis) ones in Singapore, Hong Kong, or cheaper servers (cheaper bandwidth and power) in West Coast USA.
Source: Lived in Asia for 4 years. Travelled to Australia, HK, countries in SEA, etc. Basically dealt with this for a long time. Have collected data in Australia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan to come to these conclusions.
TLDR: No reason for someone in Australia to buy a server in the EU if Latency/Network is a major issue factor. Buy services in Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, or US West Coast if you need good services. If you don’t care about latency or sometimes having packet loss, then EU is fine. Or if you need EU for some policy reason or “idealistic” reason, then go for it. But they’re not competitive on the networking end.