A bit of tough love for Google


blog Over on the blog of Google Australia, the company’s local engineering director Alan Noble writes the company’s staff often wish they had a dollar for every time someone asked them about what the National Broadband Network would be used for. However, he adds, at Google’s recent I/O developer conference in the US, he might have found some answers:

“Out of all the exciting announcements that came out of Google this week, every single one of them relies on high speed broadband. YouTube movie rentals — tick. Syncing your music library and movies from Android Market across your PC and your Android tablet and phone — tick. Using a Chromebook, where your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you don’t need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files — tick. These products will run on the networks we we have now, but just imagine their potential … when we have high speed Internet everywhere.”

Of course, what Noble doesn’t mention is that few of these services are yet available in Australia … where the NBN is being built. We’ve got our own list of awesome Google services, and it goes something like this:

  • Google Voice — not available in Australia
  • YouTube movie rentals — not available in Australia
  • Google Books — not available in Australia
  • Chromebooks — not available in Australia
  • Google Music — not available in Australia

Sorry Alan — we love Google products and we want to use them on the National Broadband Network, so we’ve got to give you a bit of tough love here ;) If you build it, they will come … but not if you limit all your services to US residents.

Image credit: Briony, Creative Commons


  1. It’s a bit sad that Google is all too US centric but I guess it is their biggest market and presumably money maker so it’s disappointing but not all that surprising.
    I’m sure some of those services will come eventually but I guess there are many different complications to it e.g having to get local movie studio deals etc.

  2. Its a very big disappointment every time they release these new products without either a plan or word about overseas expansion.
    People say google is a global company.
    However its not as global as everyone makes it out to be.
    I have been waiting for google voice since the first round of beta testing and i have given up expecting it to be rolled out anywhere outside of the USA. I doubt this is any better for people in Canada who are so close yet so far from these wonderful services. At least we have some distance they can blame.

    • As do I. It seems awesome.

      Fortunately Google do seem to globally release some of there better services. For example Google Navigation on Android came to Australia recently.

      But I don’t understand why it takes them so long to do it?

  3. I’m frustrated with companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.

    Not only do they not make services available Internationally but they also make the pricing of the same good almost double. For no reason at all.

    It’s the same old problem of using old, outdated, business models on infrastructure that is global in scale.

    Why they hell can’t the same goods and services be made available all over the globe and at the same price (i.e. so, for example using current exchange rates, you pay 4.73 AUD for something which costs 5.00 USD – not 10 AUD).

    Until these two simple points are addressed people (who know better) will always look elsewhere.

  4. I guarantee you that the Google Sydney staff have access to all those missing services. They probably just forget that the rest of us ain’t got nuthin!

      • This question has always been high on my list of things to ask if ever given a chance.
        While the licensing deals keep them from legally offering some things over here.
        I cant see a reason their own staff are not dogfooding anything and everything else they are legally able to.

  5. Pacific cable lag notwithstanding, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have access to these services. Generally, speeds here are good enough to run these services (more or less). Apart from no revenue in Australia as a market, I can’t see a reason not to have them.

    • Well, some of them (YouTube rentals, books, music) are dependent upon content licensing deals which Google does not appear one of either willing or unable to attain in Australia.

      I do know some Australian Googlers are working on this stuff (eBookstores for sure), but there is also no reason not to have gotten these deals done pre-launch.

  6. Slightly off topic, but…
    I wish there was a lot more advocacy out there about less ‘entertainment’ (like google music or youtube)oriented benefits to the NBN.

    Benefits to telecommuting might be one example. I can sit at my desk at work and use VOIP and HD Training vids and HD Vid/Voice conferencing. With the NBN I can do this at home too. Yeh I know it works now on HFC or excellent quality DSL but it only has a limited footprint.

    The NBN detractors cry ‘why are we spending billions so people can play games and download youtube faster’. It’s kinda understandable how they might think that.

  7. For those promoting wireless technology as the answer for many Australians today (living outside the existing fixed line network), let me tell you that if wireless is anything like what I experience on my mobile phone each day on the train going and returning from work, heaven help our children if they are going to keep up with our overseas neighbours.

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