I still quote out transport and transit for service providers (also, origination and termination services and much more). I get undercut all the time. I quoted out a 10MB port in a telco hotel in Louisiana and got beat by CTEL, which I could have quoted but didn't cuz I'm an idiot sometimes.
I read this blog post titled Sometimes Cheap Turns Out to be Expensive and it had me nodding my head. At one time, I was the de facto telecom provisioning department for quite a few clients. I am not always the cheapest, but I do offer value in dealing the carriers.
BTW, it has come to my attention that their is a perception about agents being able to get CSA's from ATT Southeast. CSA's were special pricing contracts that are rare today. Now, it is a volume and term agreement under wholesale that must be negotiated. There are indeed promotional prices with every carrier, but the days of BellSouth handing out MetroE CSA's for sub-$600 are long gone (hand on to them and let them auto-renew people!). Also, the days of BellSouth paying out huge commissions to agents for sub-$1000 services are also long gone. If I could offer rates lower than the FISPA contract, I would! It's just not available.
Interesting note: Ma Bell now wants to tie mobility into any special pricing deal, so if you want to buy some cell phone plans with that cheap bandwidth, please let me know! Thanks!