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Of all the things on Gov. Greg Abbott’s list of priorities, the call for broadband internet might be the most popular in the state Legislature. But fixing the problems of accessibility and affordability will be expensive and time-consuming.

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Many of the documents are still fresh and crisp. Some are yellowed with age, some in tatters. Others have been laminated as a stopgap against further deterioration. Whatever their state, every one of the records stored in the Kilgore district office of the Texas Railroad Commission will be individually inspected in the coming year. About half will be set aside, ready to be scanned and uploaded to a massive public database – the history of the East Texas Oilfield digitized and open for business, free for any interested person or party.