A reader alerted me to a thread on the World of Warcraft customer service forum that has reached over 100 pages of complaints from customers playing on Oceanic servers. Apparently since patch 2.4 the Oceanic servers have huge lag problems, up to a point where going on a raid is strictly impossible during local prime time. WoWInsider confirmed the story, but was satisfied with Blizzard saying they are working on it. But that was a month ago, and the Australians are still reporting big problems.
Part of the problem appears to be that while US servers are in the US and Euro servers are in Europe, the Oceanic servers are not in Australia, but in the US. So their lag is inherently worse than that of other players. While Australia regularly scores quite high in the UN index measuring quality of life, when it comes to MMORPGs the situation is not so rosy. Many MMORPGs are not sold in Australia at all, or come out much later, or don't offer local servers. Or as Blizzard's Oceanic customers imply, they get much worse customer service. That doesn't seem fair, but is probably just a fact of economic reality. Australia is huge, but only has 20 million inhabitants, and the rest of Oceania doesn't add many more. So in terms of potential profit, Australia counts as a small and faraway country. That is unfortunate for the Oceanians, but MMORPG services to there are not likely to improve anytime soon, no matter how long the thread on the WoW forum gets.