What innovation led to the explosive growth of the Internet?

Some would say the free release, by Tim Berners-Lee, of the World Wide Web (WWW)1 on April 30, 1993. Others cite Version 1.0 of the graphical browser, Mosaic, introduced on November 11, 1993.2 While these garnered well-deserved recognition, let us consider another, less well known candidate.

During this formative era, Dr. David Huber and Kevin Kimberlin began working together to make high-capacity optical networking systems.