Present approaches for reducing the detrimental impact of parasitic phenomena, such as stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), on the performance of fiber lasers and communication networks have focused on fiber design (e.g., microstructured fibers). While much has been learned in the development of the large mode area (LMA) designs, these fibers are highly complex and very difficult to manufacture; factors that conspire to make it difficult to achieve its system bandwidth and power goals. All of these parasitic effects fundamentally originate from the light's interaction with the material from which the fibers are made. Accordingly, a materials-related approach directly attacks the underlying physical origins of these nonlinearities. This paper will discuss simple core/clad optical fibers made from novel glasses that mitigate these performance limiting nonlinearities.