Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants the federal government to provide universal high-speed internet across the country, addressing how some rural communities still lack reliable broadband access.

"One of the best tools for unlocking economic opportunity and advances in healthcare, like telemedicine, is access to high-speed Internet," Warren wrote Wednesday in a Medium blog post. "In the twenty-first century, every home should have access to this technology."

Warren, a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, has called her policy a "public option for broadband," and would establish an "Office of Broadband Access."

The $85 million grant program would be distributed to nonprofits, cities, counties and Native American tribes. The program would pay 90% of the cost for construction of public fiber-optic networks.

Warren noted that "$5 billion will be set aside specifically for 100% federal grants to tribal nations to expand broadband access on Native American lands."

A 2018 poll by the Pew Research Center said that 24% of rural adults think getting access to high-speed internet is a major problem in their rural community.

A 2016 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report said that 39% of rural Americans lack access to high-speed internet. Some members of Congress, such as Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have also introduced plans to update a national broadband map.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has called offering speed broadband "a game-changer" that gives rural America the "promise of digital opportunity."

The lack of effective internet capabilities in some rural and underserved communities can cause peculiar consequences for their economies.

Video rental stores such as Blockbuster have shuttered due to online movie streaming services such as Netflix but in communities where residents lack high-speed internet, video rental stores such as Family Video still exist. Roughly 90% of Family Video stores are in rural communities across the country.

Warren, who also pledged to bring back net neutrality rules from the Obama administration, unveiled the broadband plan ahead of a four-day tour through Iowa in a reform package entitled "My Plan to Invest in Rural America."

The Iowa Democratic caucus will take place on Feb. 3, 2020.