The network gained a public face in the 1990s. On August 6, 1991, CERN, which straddles the border between France and Switzerland, publicized the new World Wide Web project, two years after British scientist Tim Berners-Lee had begun creating HTML, HTTP and the first few Web pages at CERN.
An early popular web browser was ViolaWWW based upon HyperCard. It was eventually replaced in popularity by the Mosaic web browser. In 1993 the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released version 1.0 of Mosaic, and by late 1994 there was growing public interest in the previously academic/technical Internet. By 1996 usage of the word "Internet" had become commonplace, and consequently, so had its misuse as a reference to the World Wide Web.
Meanwhile, over the course of the decade, the Internet successfully accommodated the majority of previously existing public computer networks (although some networks, such as FidoNet, have remained separate). During the 1990s, it was estimated that the Internet grew by 100% per year, with a brief period of explosive growth in 1996 and 1997. This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary open nature of the Internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents any one company from exerting too much control over the network