What determines Cloudflare Pages datacentre location?

I am located in Auckland, NZ. Using the /cdn-cgi/trace endpoint, I find that my Cloudflare Pages site is being served to be by the SYD (Australia) datacentre (I can see colo=SYD).

I find that another popular NZ site PBTech, using the https://pbtech.co.nz/cdn-cgi/trace endpoint, is being served to me from my closest datacentre colo=AKL as I’d expect.

I know that Cloudflare is an anycast network, but using 1.1.1.1/help, I find that my internet connection is indeed being served from the AKL datacentre, and furthermore the latency of my site being served by SYD is consistently 3x longer than the PBTech site being served by the AKL datacentre. So I’d expect BGP metrics to favour the AKL datacentre.

So my question is, why does Cloudflare Pages refuse to serve my site from my local datacentre? Does Pages demote low-traffic to “lower cost” datacentres, or something like that?

For Australia, you may not have all POPs available just because you’re on a free plan.

Ah ok, so Cloudflare restricts the POPs for my Pages site for the free plan… Is this documented somewhere?

It’s not just Pages, it’s any site. Generally, my understanding is that free plans have access to all POPs (except China) but with lower priority routing. In Australia that “lower priority” comes into play a lot more than elsewhere. The details aren’t documented anywhere that I know of.

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Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it! I suspect this may be the case. Are you a Cloudflare staff?

I’m after a relatively authoritative source to confirm if this is indeed true, and which plan (Pro/Business) if any, would enable all POPs for my sites, and if I could expect my Cloudflare Pages (and Workers) to be served from the AKL data centre.

Btw, in my case I’m in Auckland NZ (not Australia), but I suspect this only emphasize the “lower priority” factor even more.

There’s no locations that are exclusive to a plan (other than China through an Enterprise agreement + add-on) - but lower plans are instead the first to be re-routed away.

Smaller locations will stop accepting traffic from free plans, and then Pro plans, etc - as necessary to manage load. Different plans are given IP’s from different pools, and Cloudflare operates an anycast network, so it’s easy to stop advertising <prefixes for X plan> in a single location.

There’s no hard numbers or guarantees about the behaviour - other than higher plans are more likely to be routed to the smaller, ‘premium’ PoPs.

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Understood, thanks for the info!

Adding some new info: when I use the 1.1.1.1 WARP VPN on my machine, I do actually reach my local AKL PoP. This corroborates the statement that my Pages site does indeed exist on all Cloudflare data centres. It also suggests that WARP will put the client’s connection on the “premium” network, besides the site’s Premium/Business plan. @KianNH does that sound right?

For what it’s worth, I did some monitoring overnight (low local traffic conditions), and without WARP, I never reached the AKL (my local) PoP. This tells me that based on whatever metrics are currently used, I personally wouldn’t expect to the AKL data centre to be utilised for my site’s visitors on the free plan.

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