Coventry MPs are calling for an urgent meeting with BT managers after learning that British technology firm Marconi lost a major contract purely on price.
The decision could cost up to 3,000 jobs, and 450 are already expected to go at the firm's facilities in Coventry.
BT is excluding Marconi from any work in the roll-out of its new £10 billion telecoms network. Instead, the contracts went to eight foreign firms. Marconi has revealed to MPs that they lost the chance to win the multi-million pound contract purely on price - not the quality of their product.
Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson (Lab) said the revelation was "disconcerting".
He said: "We understand the decision was taken purely on price - the technology was quite in favour of Marconi.
"We need to go to BT now. It's disconcerting and we need to find out the real facts and see if there's anything that can be salvaged." He is now trying to arrange a meeting with BT managers to try to determine exactly what happened.
Mr Robinson, Bob Ainsworth (Lab Coventry North East) and Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) met the new Trade and Industry Secretary, Alan Johnson, last week to discuss the issue.
Mr Robinson said: "He felt they were two private companies and that's why he felt the department couldn ' t intervene.
"We put to him the question of the UK's skills base, and the impact on that, and in particular whether BT would take into account they would be losing a valuable skills base."
Coventry staff have voted to take "whatever industrial action necessary" to prevent the closure of a Midland Marconi plant. Marconi has announced plans to close the New Horizon Park Plant in Coventry with the loss of 180 jobs, and a further 270 are earmarked to go at Coventry's New Century Park plant, which employs more than 1,000 people.