Telecommunication is the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. In modern times, this process almost always involves the sending of electromagnetic waves by electronic transmitters but in earlier years it may have involved the use of smoke signals, drums or semaphore. Today, telecommunication is widespread and devices that assist the process such as the television, radio and telephone are common in many parts of the world. There is also a vast array of networks that connect these devices, including computer networks, public telephone networks, radio networks and television networks. Computer communication across the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging, is just one of many examples of telecommunication.