The BBC's British radio antenna to arrive at space station says:
The new fridge-sized terminal will route video, voice and data to the ground through satellites that are actually higher in the sky than the ISS.
On occasions, these will continue to be the nodes in the American Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), but the capacity is now there to go through a European alternative as well.
The European Data Relay System (EDRS) only has one satellite operating at the moment but will soon have a second.
This will afford the possibility of tens of minutes of dedicated, high-bandwidth connectivity for the Columbus lab on every 90-minute orbit of the Earth made by the station.
Astronauts are expected to use COLKa to video-call scientists who have experiments running on the ISS, and to make "welfare" connections with family and friends on Earth.
If I understand correctly, COLKa means the Ka-band communications channel for Columbus lab.
The linked article in the quote is titled Europe launches second EDRS space laser satellite and says:
The 3-tonne EDRS-C satellite also hosts a Ka-band radio frequency payload for the London-based Avanti telecommunications company.
Avanti calls the payload Hylas-3 and will be using it to deliver broadband and other data services to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Question: So certainly some of the communications from the European antenna on the ISS's Columbus to EDRS will be via Ka-band, but I'd like to know if at least the hardware is now there for optical communication between the two as well.