Starhub Singapore Applies For Top-Level Domain Name

Forking out US$ 185,000 (S$ 232,000) for the privilege of owning the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) name “.starhub” may seem like much, but StarHub’s Assistant Vice President of Brand and Marketing Communications Mr. Oliver Chong feels it is a move in the right direction.

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.


Starhub plans to use the .starhub TLD to improve it's presence on the Web. (Image:

Other companies (Canon, Hitachi and Deloitte) disclosed their interest in getting their own TLDs, but did so before the application period opened last 12 January. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN) manages most top TLDs, and will close the window on 12 April 2012.

Starhub hired Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services (DBS) as its application consultant with ICANN, and teamed up with AusRegistry International (ARI) to run its registry back-end.

Chong relayed his enthusiasm for the potential benefits Starhub and its customers will see once the application is approved (around 9 to 20 months from now).

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 ‘’.  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.

Critics call ICANN’s move to sell TLDs as a self-serving initiative aimed at making the domain name industry even more lucrative. Others point out that this will encourage cyber-squatting, and will force companies and institutions to pay a premium just to preserve their brand names. TLD supporters say the US$185,000 application fee alone might deter cyber-squatters from trying to buy generic TLDs. The payment does not guarantee approval, as each application goes through a vetting process. Supporters also point out that detractors tend to be those who might lose revenues from their  SEO businesses.

If you make money from charging brands to optimize their search, the last thing you want is a domain name system that helps them cut through the clutter without your services.

As long as customers get a better user experience with companies who utilize TLD names, there shouldn’t be a problem with Starhub getting it’s own gTLD.