The Singaporean communications company StarHub has become the sixth company to publicly announce they will be applying to ICANN for their top level domain, joining organisations such as Unicef, Deloitte, Neustar, Canon, Hitachi and possibly even IBM.It has been predicted by many involved in the domain name business, including one of StarHub’s partners in applying for their TLD, ARI Registry Services, that there will be around 1000 brand applications.StarHub has partnered with technical registry provider ARI Registry Services and digital brand management services provider Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services (DBS) to help it apply for and operate its ‘.brand’ domain name.StarHub aims to create a branded, authoritative corner of the internet devoted completely to its business interests under the ‘.starhub’ TLD. In future, consumers may see new website addresses such as ‘mobile.starhub’, ‘tv.starhub’ and ‘broadband.starhub’ introduced to the brand’s marketing and advertising activity.Mr Oliver Chong, StarHub’s Assistant Vice President of Brand and Marketing Communications, explained the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain will position the brand as a leader in the region.”Our ‘.starhub’ new Top-Level Domain will cement the company’s position as Singapore’s most innovative info-communications company. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation and through this initiative StarHub is one of first companies in the region to publicly commit to the next generation of online navigation,” Mr Chong said.”We believe the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain will deliver clear marketing and advertising benefits to StarHub, such as improved online brand recall and a more intuitive consumer experience with easy to remember domain names such as ‘mobile.starhub’. We also anticipate potential Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits by operating a more targeted and relevant naming system that is clearly matched with our website content,” he said.”Ultimately, we believe ‘.starhub’ will deliver increased consumer trust and loyalty in our digital brand and enable StarHub to future-proof its online presence.”Mr Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services – the company chosen by StarHub to provide technical expertise and infrastructure for the initiative – said it was a bold step forward for the company and reinforces its position as a leader in online innovation.”StarHub is an industry leader and operating a new Top-Level Domain will reinforce its position at the forefront of innovation within the online space. As a proven global registry solution provider, we are extremely excited to be chosen to help support the ‘.starhub’ Top-Level Domain,” Mr Kinderis said. “A simple, memorable and branded Internet domain name like ‘.starhub’ will allow consumers to bypass search engines and go directly to the content they are looking for. I anticipate that this announcement by StarHub will open the floodgates for Asian brands to get on board with this exciting initiative and it will be a major boost to the local digital economy.”Mr Theo Hnarakis, CEO & Managing Director of Melbourne IT – the company chosen by StarHub to provide domain strategy and application consulting services – said the decision to apply for ‘.starhub’ would deliver long-term benefits for the StarHub brand.”The way consumers connect with brands online has changed dramatically in the past few years with e-Commerce booming, mobile Web browsing rising fast and social media usage expanding – all of which has provided brands with opportunities and headaches in equal measure. Vital to the future of nearly every modern company is the ability for customers to easily engage with the business online. Savvy brands like StarHub understand that fact and realise the cornerstone to their future online strategy lies in a ‘.brand’,” Mr Hnarakis said.The application window for new Top-Level Domains opened on 12 January and will close on 12 April 2012 with those intending to apply needing to register with ICANN by 29 March.