The city’s procurement process for millions of dollars worth of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) service was “unfair from the get-go,” Mitel chairman Sir Terence Matthews told city councillors yesterday.

Matthews held a short session at city hall yesterday to discuss his objection to the process.

He said it was disturbing the vendors bidding for the data and voice networks were both incumbents, but the proposal treated the voice network side as if there was never any technology already in place.

The complication, he said, was that the supplier of the data network was the same supplier as the voice network and the data network was in need of massive overhauling.

Matthews said that the data supplier had an advantage to tendering bids for both voice and data network.

Mitel did not win the process, losing to a bid from Bell Canada and Cisco System. However before negotiation even started, Mitel offered $2 million worth of equipment in exchange for the service contract. A fairness commissioner ruled that the offer was out of line and it was withdrawn last week.

“Sadly, we’ve had to go down the legal route to resolve what we see as a completely unfair process from the get-go,” said Matthews.

The city’s corporate services and economic development committee will be considering a motion to postpone the bidding process for two weeks in order to consider the next step.

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