AT&T has a new channel program that isn't really a channel program so much that it is a wholesale program. (I wrote about it when I first heard about it back in September.) The Emerging Markets Program requires that the channel partner have a NOC and billing system.
What a few AT&T partners couldn't figure out is how the channel partner can sell VoIP, transport and Internet Access without a CLEC license. Well, in many states those services can be sold without a CLEC license.
The other issue is the taxes and fees. There are 9000 rate centers in the US. Every city, county and state has different taxes and fees. The partner would have to outsource for that, because I would not suggest you guess what taxes are due.
So if you are tired of the ever-changing agent program, take the next step and become a service provider, where you can trade commission headaches with billing disputes.
All these years of calling the AT&T Channel Partner a solution provider seems real now: a true provider.