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"It makes no sense to educate people in our universities, often subsidized by U.S. taxpayers, and then insist they return home," Gates told the House Science and Technology Committee at a hearing Wednesday. Gates has been a leading proponent of dramatically increasing the number of H-1B temporary visas issued to foreign computer scientists, allowing them to work in the United States.
During Gates' testimony, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) pushed back, saying those foreign experts will take jobs away from Americans. "If we bring [in] more people from the outside, will it not also depress the wages in our own country that people like yourself would have to pay your employees?"
"No," said Gates firmly. "These top people are going to be hired. It's just a question of what country they are hired in. When we bring in these world-class engineers, we create jobs around them. The B and C students are the ones who get those jobs around these top engineers. And if these top engineers are forced to work in India, we will hire the B and C students from India to work around them."
Push for White Space
Then it was off to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, where Gates and Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie made a push for adoption of technology to deliver wireless Internet over white space -- the vacant frequencies that provide buffers between television broadcasts.
"White-space activity today is sort of our last hope to get some good spectrum," Mundie said. "The only way to do it is to use the unused TV channels and very smart radios. Ultimately the public will pay the tab, either because we fall behind as a society or we have to make extraordinary adjustments to catch up."
Gates said the white-space spectrum offers a good solution for rural areas in the U.S. "We're hopeful that [white space] will be made available so that Wi-Fi can explode in terms of its usage, even out into some of these less-dense areas, where distance has been a big problem for Wi-Fi," Gates said.
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